tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 3, 2012 10:00am-1:59pm EST
people. that sounds like a lot of people but in fact it's very small compared to, for example, the employment of a bank of america or city bank. the operating budget of the world bank is under $2 billion which is a tiny fraction of what the united states, for example, and other countries spend just on gathering nnls. host: and i think we have to leave our discussion there. uri, the of the carnegie endowment. thank you for your time. guest: thank you very much. host: on tomorrow's program we'll look at super tuesday. david makovsky will talk about the president's speech sunday. you can watch that live.
then, nuking which will join us in core final half-hour to take questions about his presidential campaign -- newt gingrich will join us in our final half-hour to take questions about his presidential campaign. we will see you then. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in a few moments, a house hearing on the cruise ship safety after the accident off the italian coast. later, an independent panel report on the mishandling of service members remains at the dover air force base mortuary. then, first lady michelle obama and jill biden speak about making it easier for military spouses to get state professional licenses after relocating.
following his primary victories in michigan and arizona, republican presidential candidate mitt romney is in dayton, ohio, for a town hall style of an this afternoon. the state is one of 10 contests up for grabs next tuesday. it is expected to get under way at about 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> " can we win with? none of them. >> none of them? >> obama just change the entire dynamic. >> look inside the new hbo movie and best-selling book to gain the inside story of what happened in the 2008 presidential campaign. >> you know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? lipstick. >> sunday, with the co-authors. >> their expectation coming out of that speech was the she was
an asset to the campaign and for the week or 10 days immediately after that, she was, and on the democratic side, there was a lot of concern as the mccain-palin ticket can out of the convention. people on the democratic side were sort of freaking out. >> we talk about "game change" sunday at 6:30 p.m. >> if you had said in 2006 that the world would be begging for the united states to use force again in the middle east within three and a half years, everybody would have said you were crazy. >> brookings institution fellow robert kagan is not only an adviser to the mitt romney campaign but also serves on secretary clayton's for an advisory policy board. >> what i have been writing for years is that there is a lot of continuity in american foreign policy, more than we expect, a broad consensus. i think what you are seeing is
the kind of consensus in the foreign-policy community. probably, there is a lot of overlap between the two policies. >> more on foreign policy and his latest, "the world america made." >> survivors of the costa concordia shipwreck testified that the crew on board was telling passengers to go back to their cabins more than an hour after the ship ran aground off of the italian coast. the death toll from the accident now stands at 25. a house transportation maritime subcommittee held a hearing today on cruise ship safety that also included witnesses from the u.s. coast guard and the cruise ship industry. this is just under three hours. >> this activity generated more
than $37 billion for the u.s. economy and sustain more than 37,000 american jobs. the cruise industry and coast guard must continue to work together to ensure that taking a cruise remains one of the safest and most enjoyable ways to travel. i want to thank the witnesses for appearing today. we want to note on behalf of the subcommittee that we understand clearly that there is an ongoing investigation, and as such, we understand that the witnesses today may not be able to answer all of the questions we have about what happened, and clearly, due to the nature of investigation and legalities that are involved with this. we will continue to monitor the investigation and look forward to a full accounting with the investigation is complete. we will look for ways to improve passenger safety based on what we know so far. with that, i would like to yield to mr. larsen. >> mr. chairman, thank you.
allow me to express my prayers and thoughts to the women and men of the u.s. coast guard and their families, who have passed or missing in the recent accident. i thank you for scheduling a hearing to delve into the state your cruise vessels in light of the accident of the cruise ship costa concordia off the coast of italy. i like to extend my condolences to the families of the 25 passengers and crew members who died as a result of this and also, the seven other families for whom their loved ones remain unaccounted. i want to welcome the passengers who traveled to massachusetts on short notice to be with us today as well. mr. chairman, d.c. is beautiful and most often benign. nevertheless, it remains a relentless and ever-present threat to those who travel its
debt at times. the costa concordia incident reminds us we cannot be complacent while at sea. the ocean is capable in a moment of the sibling and sinking even our most modern and technically advanced chips. i will be at least a year before the government completes its investigation and determined the exact circumstance that caused the ship to run aground, but there's a reason for us to delay efforts to assess the present regulatory regime for cruise vessels in the united states and internationally. if anything, reports this week of another cruise ship, the allegra, adrift in a private- infested waters, should further the investigation. i welcome the opportunity. we need to ensure that cruise ships meet or exceed all standards for safe design, construction, manning, and operation. the traveling public expect no less. after all, all forms of transportation are successful
only to the extent the public perceives them to be reliable. in general, the cruise industry is considered a safe -- travel option by most travelers. it also generate substantial economic benefits in the united states. according to 2010 information, cruises of writing and departing from u.s. ports generate $18 billion in direct spending on goods and services and provide $37.8 billion in total economic benefits in the u.s., and what to come over 300,000 jobs are generated by cruise industry expenditures. the pacific northwest is a growing market for the cruise industry. furthermore, it is creating jobs and generating direct spending in washington state. clearly, there is a lot at stake economically, but also at stake are the lives and safety of the more than 11 million passengers in 2011 that barred from u.s. ports and cruise vessels with nothing but the expectation of safe passage and a trove of
wonderful vacation memories. the costa concordia accident provides us with a new exodus to ask tough questions to determine whether we have remain vigilant or become complacent in our efforts to maintain the industry -- provides us with a new entity is to ask tough questions. -- a new in this -- a new impetus to ask tough questions. also, are the ships given adequate information concerning evacuation procedures, and if not, how might this be improved? these are some of the questions that immediately come to mind. i would be interesting -- in
closing, the best way to ensure long-term economic health of the cruise industry in the u.s. is to insure the remains are are pretty regulated and that the american public is justifiably considered a cruise vacation a safe and secure form of leisure travel. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back and have one additional unanimous consent request, if i may. it is unanimous consent request to put in the record a statement from the international longshore warehouse union. >> without objection, so ordered. >> i would like to recognize the chairman of the full committee of transportation infrastructure.
>> first of all, thank you for the hearing. i felt it was incumbent upon the full committee and subcommittee to review both this incident and then where we are on cruise ship safety in light of this and other incidents, but i must first also identify my remarks with others today who have expressed their sympathy and condolences to the united states coast guard. we have learned the high praise that has been paid by the men and women that served as every day. incredibly, i am sad to hear of your loss.
our prayers and thoughts are with the families. as mr. larsen said, led the same holds true for cruise ship passengers and others that were lost at the concordia tragedy. some say maybe we should hold this hearing. i said no. it is very important that we examine what to place and where we are as far as trichet safety. when you have a new one, it can swim or sink. there will be an investigation as to their responsibility. our response ability has to do it u.s. citizens.
they have the safest experience possible. congress has provided an updated the balls, regulations. they make sure in the protections are in place. the cruise industry is one of the most incredible entrepreneurial achievements by the private sector that i have seen in my lifestyle. my great grandparents are by steerage.
another passenger was limited to the region. there are few pleasurable experiences of their lifetime. i've been on cruises and the2ó3[ they save their money all year to go on a cruise and an incredible experience that makes their dreams come true. this is an industry. they have a rival educations. this industry is huge not to
mention the great expanse of pleasure. we will make sure that this experience is safe. irresponsibility is not just the united states. it is also the international organizations. i asked the chairman to take from this hearing information. we need to make certain our international organizations also set standards and are updating them. we cannot do this just by ourselves or put in place laws that just protect americans. we have a responsibility to work with the international organizations to make sure they all of day to their standards.
that means that we also have a new era of cruise ships. some have five or 6000 people. i believe this one has over 4200 people. we also saw a cruise ships that is the length of aircraft carrier. when it hit the rocks and celtic, it certainly got everybody in the world -- and tipped over, it certainly that everybody in the world's attention. we are fortunate in a way thatit landed on some land and rocks.
the number would have been incredible. another thing that would have been astounding when you go over sideways, everyone thinks of the titanic and the way it sank. when a mega liner till it's over, immediately, -- megaliner tilts over, you lose half of the safety evacuation ships. i think we can take from this some positive improvements. i am at a great personal loss to some families. hopefully we can make this experience which we have relied and that we have grown to take
for granted and even a safer experience. we look forward to their recommendations. we yelled back. >> our first witness today is the deputy commandant for operations. thank you for the opportunity to discuss issues related to a cruise ship safety. thank you for your expression. events like this touches all very deeply.
passenger ships operate from the port. they embark approximately 11 + 5 million passengers. the crews that operate these vessels has been a long standing one. they comply with all the united states and international safety, security and environmental standards and ensures that their careers are real change. -- their crews are trains. i am responsible for conducting investigations when accidents are violations of standards occur. a responsible for the policy regarding the conduct a search and rescue.
the recent casualty of the concordia is of great interest to us. we are certain there will be much to learn. we're open to the possibility that our regulations in the international regulations produced may need to be strengthened based on the outcome of the investigation. we have offered to assist. there are a number of citizens on board. that condolences to the families and friends of the missing and lost. the this year marks the 100th anniversary of the loss of the titanic. despite a century of technological improvements in maritime passenger safety, all
our new technologies are taken for granted. they lead the u.s. efforts. the focus on standards is important. american citizens are frequently passengers on vessels with -- which otherwise have no u.s. connection. as the agency responsible for verifying the safety, the coast guard has established the most rigorous program in the world. all cruise ships and passengers controlled the verification before they are permitted to operate.
this is comprehensive in nature. it includes concept reviews. it is followed by periodic examinations for however long it operates. during these exams the also continuous security procedures including those required under the vessel safety and security act. now 2009, they established the national center of expertise. they were the focal point. it serves as an indicator for how seriously we take a responsibility para when the greatest challenges we can take is a massive rescue operation involving a cruise ship. we continue search and rescue.
we hold copy of the plants. we periodically test them to ensure seamless coordination. the coast guard has conducted 36 rescue exercises. each district authorized by congress focus on this responsibility. we do not have the facts. it has an immediate measure. this contracts with the requirement with the mustard drill.
but as new policies requiring mandatory muster drills for embarking passengers quired to departure. it exceeds the international program. i want to ensure that the coast guard use the safety of passengers as is highs maritime one. we had the best program in the world for verifying the safety. we were diligently rid carla's of where they go. meanwhile, we have taken measures to implement the cruise ship.
they enhance the personal protection of passengers and crew ships. the maximize the vessel safety security and environmental protection. thank you again for the opportunity to testify today. >> thank you. your statement covered in line of questions. does the coast guard have any plans to conduct an independent investigation? >> are conducting an investigation. where in the process of interviewing all of them. there's a standard series of questions that we're asking each of the passengers to a participate. from that we expect a picture of what a place on board and to
truly understand some of the factors that were critical. >> to be very interested. when that is concluded, if you were able to share those results with us, if you could come before the committee. >> he may have commented on this. i just want to make sure i understand. has the coast guard reached down to offer your assistance? >> we have. they have indicated that they will welcome our participation. there also saw the same status. they indicated they will do that. with us for the same status. -- we have asked for the same status.
>> to get any authorities that would not share their final reports? >> there would be full disclosure. -- thank you. that is all. >> thank you. >> as the coast guard have any history? >> it was initially intended for service. they have an initial examination. it is never completed. the company's plan change.
it never came to the united states. we have not had any contact with the other vessel at all. >> is the process a very formal? >> it is based on a casualty could put forth by the maritime organization which has procedures for cooperation. we are using the provisions to make the approach for the government. they have responded. >> it is not driven by the italian government. >> the time government has responded. >> -- the italian government has responded. >> there are a u.s. citizens who or where passengers aboard the vessel.
>> can you tell about the center for excellence and how it operates? is it a school setting or a seminar setting? >> it has multiple functions. it is first and foremost designed to train armory inspectors from around the country. wherever we have a cruise ship activity, those inspectors or go to miami where the center is located, meet with coastguard specialists and industry partners. the industry provides vessels for examinations so we can not only have come from instruction but hands-on and understand in detail how all the systems work. it is a cooperative effort we undertake with the industry. industry members go through the center as well so they can better understand coastguard
expectations. that informs the industry as to what we look for in a safety culture on board the ship, the kinds of systems that we pay particular attention to, so that they are always maintained an integrated into the ship's safety manual. with regards to the exercises, how many did you say you have conducted? >> 36, and they are conducted in every coast guard district. not all the more cruise ships. some of them are high-capacity passenger vessels that are smaller than what we typically think of as a cruise ship. we do mixup.
that operate a little bit differently, but each one poses unique risks. we exercise all different types of ships all around the coast in every district. >> i will yield back. >> thank you, admiral. that is interesting, your last name is salerno and my family sailed from salerno to the united states. i will be in salerno on easter. good to have you here, and again, thank you so much for your service. they never come and lobby me. there are a small portion of what some of the federal folks earn. i cannot say enough about what you do.
right now we are all dealing with anecdotal accounts. i want to hear from the actual passengers. that is great when we bring them in. there are even bigger ships out there. is the muster drill and the like but safety drill currently adequate? i know many of the cruise ships have gone to a much shorter time when folks board. >> we have made it a requirement as part of our examination, that drill. i think that is almost a reasonable outcome from what we are seeing from this casualty. it is a voluntary practice could then the united states.
i believe it may apply -- internationally as well. >> that they could be looked at? >> i do. >> we would like to take your recommendation. i don't know if it needs to be a law, but may be a regulation. also to the international organizations, we have the best possible standard for that drill. the safety drill is very important in people knowing what to do. these are massive ships, multistory. the other thing is, the lifeboats and safety devices are at a 20 degree tilt. that might be something else we want to look at, i think it went to 35. if that had been in deep water, that puppy would have gone down pretty dramatically.
there would have been a much greater loss of life. again, it is probably half of your life boats in your safety devices or on that side, so they would have been wiped out and they would have to account for maybe 2000 or 1500 of those passengers who would have no way -- may be the life vests, but we heard problems with that, too. so we may want to look at that. in the past, they put life vests in the cabin or someplace like that. maybe saying about the availability of boat -- both the lifeboat vessel that would take folks off, and most of these, i guess the italian sea at that time was not quite that cold, but you get into frigid waters, and the survival rate drops pretty dramatically.
i think we need to look at that in light of the size of these mega cruise liners. would you agree? >> yes, sir, i think there are two broad categories of inquiry here. what are the technological standards that you just mentioned. we made -- we need to take a hard look a lot of this casualty. are the standards correct? did the equipment function in accordance with the standards? the other is the human factor. training, the ability to operate under pressure, all of that needs to be looked at as well. >> let me say this. these hearings are great, and we do learn things from the hearings. we will learn things today. i would ask the ranking member, mr. larsen, i would suggest that we convene a roundtable with the coast guard and others and then let's get their recommendations, and what they
can cover our regulation we will work with them on. if we need to change law, let's take their recommendations. if i could ask you all so, since the international standards are also imposed for americans outside our borders, that is very important for you to lead an effort, and one of those bodies is a london pickwick yes, sir, the international maritime organization. >> can you take to them our recommendations so that we can protect americans from u.s. ports, but there are so many americans that travel internationally on these liners. we will set a date appropriate to the majority and minority for a roundtable follow up this and then we would like to try to get your recommendations for a lot changes and what you can do a regulation, and let these two gentlemen take to the
international organizations to recommend an update. >> mr. chairman, you can do whatever you like. >> mr. young is more ranking as far as chairman. >> let me thank the chairman for this hearing. i will tell you this. there is nothing wrong with this ship. this was a good ship. there are probably three errors, and they are all human errors. we had a captain that forgot he was a captain. as a captain, i was very embarrassed serious. he was too close to the shore. there is nothing wrong with the
ships we have in the industry. in our area, have american pilots that pilot the ships in our waters, especially in the northwest. crucially important. if the pilot had been on board that ship, as he should have been, this would not have happened. was the crew trained? maybe, maybe not. i am not sure about that. i wanted to be careful about casting aspersions to the american cruise lines in american waters, because we are doing a very good job. we have had a good safety record. we have had one back fire in alaska over the last 35 years, and had a great rescue by the coast guard. it is really important to me to recognize where the problem lies. this was a human activity that should never have occurred. we go through a very rigorous program in our waters about 74 or cruise ships. are we perfect? no.
it is important that we do not have a black eye around the world in the cruise industry. over a million passengers a year come to the state of alaska. i have never heard that complaint about any activity of the cruise or the captain. longshoremen have inserted -- that either for the crew nor crew aboard the american crews that have little or are loaded aboard our nation's ports. how would you respond to the concern that unqualified personnel loading and unloading vessels may endanger passenger'' safety, and do you believe legislation required to protect passengers a during loading and unloading and tying up of the vessels that our nation's ports. this is a complaint i have had
from an interest group, but this also ties into the safety factor. how it is loaded, what are the passenger and crew requirements about handling all types of things this? you can comment on that if you can. >> as far as loading equipment, stability is important on any ships, especially when have passengers involved, looking after their safety. i have not heard the particular concerns raised by the longshoremen's union but i would be interested in looking at that. >> i noticed how quick people forget. i was put on a timer. with that, i will yield back my time. >> i will reserve comment on that. xi for those of you who may not be aware, mr. young i believe is the only member of congress who
actually holds a captain's license. mr. larsen. >> i just noted that mr. young, in the future when he is a ranking member, i will be sure he is on a timer. >> let me take this opportunity to thank the u.s. coast guard for not just the work that you do in florida but throughout the country. we are giving you a tremendous amount of responsibility and you all have come up to the challenge. every time i get a chance to thank publicly for how you are responding after 9/11, i have to, because you were the first branch that was their peace and protecting our country right after that tragedy. so thank you. this is no doubt, this accident
in italy was a tragedy. my hearts go out to those who were killed and injured, and we must take every chance necessary to protect the safety of the passengers. cannot vilify the entire industry because of the reckless action of one rogue employee who failed to follow the policy and protocol of his own company. as a member from the state of florida and a representative of the port of jacksonville, i am particularly interested in the cruise industry. it is a critical economic engine for the state of florida. over 8 million passengers embarked from florida and 2010 and industry contributed more than $6.3 billion in direct spending. in addition, the cruise industry is the second-largest employer in florida, generating more than 123,000 jobs, paying $5.4 billion. i do want to go back to the question that i want to ask you. do you think that the italian coast guard did everything that
they could to assist the passengers, and what recommendations would you make that we add additional recommendations? >> to the best of my awareness, the italian coast guard pursued the response in a very aggressive, very professional manner. there is nothing to suggest otherwise. i think we will learn more about not only the actions of the crew, but rescue organizations, which will be beneficial to us as we refine our search and rescue operation. >> i know the investigation is going on, but there is a great amount of concern as to how the captain handled the situation.
what procedures can we put in place to make sure that -- from the press account, and you cannot always believe the press accounts, but it was at acknowledgement that it was an emergency. it is my understanding before they had themuster drill. i understand that the cruise industry has gone back and said that before you leave that port, you will have that training. i am glad they instituted that throughout. >> is a noteworthy improvement am pleased with that industry for taking depths initiative even before being required to do that. as far as the actions of the master, obviously the investigation will shed more light on it. i doubt of any professional
mariner who is willing to step up and defend the apparent lack of leadership that clearly took place on that ship. >> what about the training of the crew? it seems like everything was in disarray. every time i have gone on cruises, the first thing we do is, they have that training as to how it in case of an accident, you put on your gear and everything. they got on the cruise, everybody was dressed for dinner, and they had not had that initial safety training. >> there are well defined requirements for training of crew members. anybody with a safety position, including hotel staff, crowd management, assuring people to their embarkation stations. all that is required and periodically refreshed. we enforce those regulations vigorously in our control program.
we work closely with industry and convey our expectations of a safety culture. i think the results are in the numbers. the cruise ship industry in the united states has a very good safety record. it is among the safest of all maritime activity. that does not happen by accident. it requires commitment by the industry itself and the numbers bear that out. >> as i understand on the equipment, the safety bo was on one side and had to walk all the way to the other side. is there any discussion as to making sure it is at a certain level, because i understand it is at a certain fee, it is under water. >> there are some very precise technological requirements for lifeboats. the angle at which they must be lowered, 20 degrees was mentioned earlier.
that is correct. operating against adverse conditions, yes, all so the stability condition of the ship. one of the questions we do not yet have an answer to is how much flooding occurred in that ship, and should have listed over as far as it did? we don't know if watertight doors were closed internal to the ship, which may have spread the flooding beyond the design limits. all questions that we need to know as part of the investigation that we will pursue with the italian government. >> once again i want to thank the men and women for their service and i yield back the balance of my time. >> mr. chairman, this has nothing to do with my questioning, but are the acoustics blog? it appears to be muffled. >> i am not sure if that is controlled by the control room, or just of the little bit different.
>> we are deeply concerned about the tragic loss last night, admiral. will the coast guard conducted independent investigation into the loss of the two american citizens aboard the costa concordia? >> as mentioned, we are interviewing all the u.s. passengers aboard to develop as complete a picture as we possibly can as to what took place on that vessel. as mentioned, we will share that information with this committee. >> i thank you for that. is it possible for a cruise vessel to fail an inspection and then not be permitted to operate in u.s. waters? >> yes, sir, that is possible. there have been instances where the coast guard inspector has not been pleased and has retained a ship. does not happen very often. has not happen in a number of years now, because i think we
have developed a strong enough expectation with industry, and i have responded by instituting safety cultures within their companies to make sure that they meet all of our very strenuous requirements. but yes, it is possible. if we are not satisfied, the ship will not sell. >> if the coast guard does detect any efficiencies, how did you follow up to ensure that have been corrected? we do follow up, depending on the severity of the deficiency. we may allow certain -- we may allow a certain matter of time for correction. >> are the hotel and entertainment staff aboard u.s. cruise vessels required to be credentialed merchant mariners? >> yes, sir, they are.
u.s. flag cruise vessel regard to be licensed by the coast guard. they must hold merchant mariner credentials and the must have the training associated with the sec the positions they hold on those vessels. >> i would assume that would probably lead to a more competent crew, would it not? >> that is the goal, yes, sir. that training is designed to achieve a level of competency- that is a baseline. we witness fire drills and boat krill's on board not only u.s. flagships but foreign flag ships. that is how we verify that the trading has taken hold, that people actually know how to use the equipment and communicate and they can perform their functions in an efficient manner.
>> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> mr. cummings. >> first of all, let me associate myself with the words of ms. brown with regard to the tremendous work the coast guard does every day. i express my concern and paris and condolences for the losses we have suffered here recently, and those families that are going through some difficult times. the coast guard faces continuing budget challenges. perhaps the single most important thing we can do to ensure the safety of the cruise industry in the united states and the safety of our entire maritime transportation system is to ensure that the hard-won gains in the coast guard marine safety program are not lost and that is critical program continues to receive the resources it needs to be able to engage fully qualified personnel to carry out a thorough inspections and investigations. i want to thank the cruise industry and victims for helping us as we address many of these issues in the 2010
reauthorization. title 5 established certain standards for the prevention and response of work forces. codifier requires that there be a chief of prevention who is at least a lieutenant commander case and who is a marine inspector and a qualified marine casualty investor or marine safety engineer. is this in place in each sector now? >> yes, sir, we have qualified members that every sector and i think in the past we have also included a number of civilian marine inspectors in our work force. our goal is 30%. every sector has civilians who will be our longstanding experts in every port.
the had the local knowledge and awareness of the industry and they assist in the trading of more junior people we have made considerable progress under title 5 of the coast guard. >> very good. spotify requires that a certificate of inspection must be signed by the senior coast guard member civilian employee you inspected the vessel in addition to the officer in charge of marine inspection. is the coast guard in compliance with this requirement? >> i will have to confirm that that has been put in effect. it is certainly our intention to comply. >> how soon can you get is that information? >> i should be able to get that to you within a day or so. >> total 5 requires that any individual adjudicating an appeal or wherever a decision regarding marine safety showed a qualified specialists or have a senior staff member who is qualified specialist and who concurs in writing with the decision on appeal.
is the coast guard in compliance with that? >> yes, sir, we are making sure there are qualified people. >> what is being done to increase geographics -- the work force? >> the primary methodology for geographic stability is the civilian work force. it gives us some rootedness in a report so that hedge against the military work force, which by its very nature does milorad work frequently. >> very good. how many inspectors do you have who are qualified to examine cruise ships, and is the inspector work force currently adequate to meet the current workload? >> there are currently 326 qualified inspectors for cruise ships. in the current work force, yes, it is adequate. we have added a number of new --
over 400 until 2011 and in 2011 there are some additional and we will analyze some of were on board in 2012. over 500 overall new positions. it has been growth in a no growth environment. i think that speaks to the level of commitment the coast guard has to this mission. >> how many of the captains of the cruise vessels that call on the united states are american's operating under u.s. coast guard issued licenses? >> the foreign flag cruise ships or almost exclusively captained by foreign masters, but they do meet international standards that we have helped develop through the imo. >> for those who are not licensed by the u.s. coast
guard, what review do you conduct of their licensing or fitness for duty? >> we certainly check their credentials issued by the non- government, as we go through our inspections, particularly with fire and lightboat drills, that is our ability to assess their confidence. in every assessment, which questioned the crew as to their knowledge, as to sector requirements, security requirements, and environmental. we make some judgments based on that. we have held and contained ships in the u.s. when we have come to the conclusion that people in sensitive safety positions on board did not know their duties. >> thank you, mr. cummings. >> thank you for allowing me to be a part of this important hearing. i would like to thank the witnesses for being here today, particularly the survivors from
the costa concordia. i like to have unanimous consent that a letter from the international cruise victims association be submitted for the record. the costa concordia accident is an unfortunate tragedy that once again highlights the need to constantly evaluate cruise ship safety. as does the current situation with costa allegra. the security of passengers onboard. in july 2010, president obama signed into law a cruise vessel security and safety act, legislation sponsored after learning that one of my constituents suffered a rape while on vacation, and there was no process on board to properly handle -- to improving medical care and support to victims of sexual assault.
this law also gives the public access to information about the number crimes committed on cruise ships. it puts much needed procedures in place to ensure the proper preservation of evidence necessary to prosecute the criminals. all provisions of this law went into effect by or on january 27, 2012. i raised concerns about whether the law is being properly and timely implement it and look forward to getting answers to these questions today. as you know, admiral salerno, the cruise vessel security and safety act requires that each cruise ship integrate video surveillance and man overboard technology to the extent that such technology is available. have the cruise lines integrated
man overboard technology aboard their vessels as required by law? >> ma'am, that aspect of the law was not determined to be self executing so we have embarked on a regulatory process. to determine the availability of technology that can be used for man overboard technology. we are engagement process now. other aspects of the law that are self executing, we have, through policy, already implemented procedures. >> where are you in the rulemaking process now? >> we are gathering information. >> we would like to do it as quickly as possible. admiral, the law also requires at least one crew member be adequately trained in proper
crime scene preservation techniques. i understand the coast guard worked with the maritime administration to come up with a model eight hour training course. have you know if a crew member has satisfactorily completed this training? >> the training would be certified and examined during the course of our normal inspections of the vessel. >> did a cruise ships provide actual documentation that the training has been completed? >> they have to have that documentation on board. idon't have that detail, but will confirm that for you. >> who is conducting the trading of the crew members? >> the training is conducted by the cruise lines themselves, based on a model course that was developed in conjunction with the fbi and the maritime -- >> how do you know the trading
actually follows the recommendations of the model course? >> that would be verified for routine inspections of the vessels. that is part inspection program. >> i still have concerns that the eight hours might not be adequate time to properly train crew member in crime scene preservation techniques. i hope it can work together to ensure the cruise ships have the expertise necessary. >> the program replaces an interim one and we are open to suggestions to improve that program. >> i think you understand how important is to decrease victims that all this be done in an expeditious manner. i appreciate what the coast guard is doing. i do appreciate your service. i know that my time is moving and i do have a few more questions. i am hoping -- thank you very much. i appreciate that. have the cruise lines integrated video surveillance
aboard their vessels as required by law? this >> i will have to confirm that. i don't have the details on that. i can get back to you on that. >> say you have no idea the reason behind that at all. >> i don't have the information on that. i will get back to you on it. >> will there be a rule making process for that also? >> that is part of the rulemaking process. >> the law also requires cruise ships to report crimes committed upon the ship and the coast guard is to provide the information to the public threat internet portal. i raise concern about the low number of crimes act of being reported. there's 16 reported the entire year of 2011. can you walk me through the pollen crimes would be reported and investigated. let's say sexual assaults occurs on the high seas and american ships leaving for cancun. who would have jurisdiction over this crime?
how would the jurisdiction be determined? who would be allowed to make an arrest? >> for crime of that nature, the cruise lines would report that. it would go to the fbi. there would be an investigation by the fbi, typically conducted with coast guard investigators. the fbi would post the results was the case is final. we would put that on our portal, but we are posting closed cases. what you see isn't low numbers of closed cases. there are more cases that are still open, still under investigation, not closed out. >> so that is not represented on the portal at all. a key element of the law was to provide the public with correct information regarding crime on cruise ships. i do hope the coast guard and the fbi are doing everything in
their power to have complete information, and i would like to be followed up with you and the fbi. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> i apologize for arriving late. i was a hearing in another building. i am sure you probably covered this, but reassurances for american citizens on cruise ships coming out of american ports, i realize that under a foreign flag vessels, we don't have nearly as much jurisdiction as we do under u.s. flag vessels. do you feel comfortable taking your family on a cruise out of a u.s. port? >> i would, and i say that because we do have the most rigorous examination program in the world. we have received cooperation from the industry in adopting a safety culture, so that even when we are not watching, i have confidence they are doing the right thing.
>> do you feel there is anything else we need to be doing to ensure cruise ship safety? again, obviously we have no jurisdiction outside of ships that call on our ports. where are we short? >> i think our interest in the costa concordia investigation is to explore that very question. we need to be open to the fact that some of our regulations may need to be strengthened. the international regime may need to be strengthened. maybe training needs to be strengthened. those are questions without answers at this point. i think we need to be open to the fact that we will have something to learn from this and we would like to stay connected with this committee as to what those things might be. >> i look forward to working with you. >> i want to thank you all for calling this meeting, and the
purpose of this meeting is to see what we need to do to strengthen the industry after 100 years since the titanic sank, and what policies we need to implement to make sure that we can protect all of the passengers. people come from all over the world to sail on our ships, and in fact, i went to barcelona and there is a cruise ship that leaves from orlando, florida, that goes to barcelona. it is and international business. i want to commend ms matsui for making sure people are safe when they travel. this the cruise industry is one of the safest in the world as
far as being attacked. can you tell us a little about that, because i would not want to leave here with the image that traveling on a cruise ship is not say. i send my mother on a cruise ship, so i know it is safe. >> i think our numbers speak for themselves. cruise ships consistently rank among the lowest in the category of ships that have marine casualties. collisions, groundings, fires, flooding, those types of things, the numbers are single digit numbers in all these different categories. comparatively safe, and i think overall, effectively speaking, it is a state industry. as mentioned, that does not happen by accident. that takes a lot of effort. from the coast guard perspective, we are relentless in applying that effort and working to keep them safe. >> i would like to have an opportunity to respond -- are we going to have adequate time? thank you.
>> i just have a question or two, just to follow up on what ms. brown just said. last week in oversight and government reform, we had a hearing on the chevy volt. one of the things that came out of that hearing is that we wanted to make it clear that it was a safe car. one of the things that the head of gm said to us was that while it is nice for you all to have this hearing, the car is safe, but there is going to be some collateral damage. just following up on what ms. brown just ask, i want to make sure that we are being fair to our cruise industry.
i work very closely with the cruise industry when we were trying to pull all of this together, and i found them to be very fair, very reasonable, and as they would say to me over and over again, this is just as important to us that we have safety on our ships as it is do you. i thought that they were very fair and very balanced, very reasonable prurience i do not want the word to go out that because of these incidents that really, not us. i want that clear. i know what happens, just like with the chevy volt, and when the president of gm said he was concerned that there were be collateral damage, when we talk about collateral damage here, we are talking about an
industry that hires a lot of people. an industry that provides families in these difficult economic times, with one of the most cheapest and most inclusive vacations that they can get. i don't want there to be collateral damage to that industry. i want to make it very clear, i want you to reiterate what you just said, that is still a safe industry. that leads to my question, are there things that you would like to see us do more than what we are doing to make it even safer? nothing is perfect. it is a project that is ever evolving. we learn every day from our mistakes. is there anything we should be doing that we are not doing? i am just curious, because i don't want the word to go out
that we have not fulfilled our responsibility. i believe the industry is doing the best it can, but i don't want them to be blindsided by a hearing that paints them in a light that is just not accurate. effects >> that is not my intention. >> i just want to make sure we are clear. you know how people are. they get a little bit of information, and the next thing you know, that industry and then suffers when it should not suffered. >> we look at our casualty statistics very closely, and they do bear out the fact that this is a safe industry. they have a good record. we obviously want to work with
the industry to maintain that record, but it is objectively speaking a safe industry. >> how do we protect our progress? >> we continue to stay engaged with the industry. we will watch this casualty and see what unrolls from it. we would like to stay connected with the committee as to the results of what we find in that investigation, see if there may be other things we need to do. we don't have the answers yet, but we need to be open to what we learn from this investigation. >> thank you very much. hess i yield to the lady. >> you said cheap, and i just want you to know it is affordable travel, having been a travel agent. >> i take back the word cheap and i would substituted with affordable. i yield back. thank you for correcting me, ms. brown. >> mr. larsen.
>> i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a statement. quick without objection, so ordered. >> anything else? admiral, thank you very much. i think this was extremely helpful, as we proceed, i would just like to emphasize a couple of things as we close off this first panel. the request was made that we have this hearing over the tragedy with the costa concordia, that we also use this opportunity, as the admiral has pointed out, that the u.s.
cruise industry has been very proactive with the coast guard, which we look forward to following up on, and highlight the reality, as mr. cummings and ms. brown amply did, but to make sure that we don't have a collateral damage with u.s. citizens with the cruise industry because of our safety record house of being so incredible. that is due to the proactive nature of the coast guard and working with the industry. we will look forward to the results of the investigation, which as you said, will give us more. at this point, i feel comfortable in saying, not being a lawyer and all the qualifiers that need to go with this, every indication is that this was incredibly poor judgment on behalf of one individual mariner, at best. at worst, it is much more damning, and when you have somebody that exercises
extremely poor judgment and lack of judgment, it is very difficult problem to deal with. admiral, we thank you for being here. we'll have a brief adjournment as we get set up for the next panel. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the committee will return to order. for a second panel, we have survivors of the costa concordia. they are here today to give us their firsthand account of what happened. we welcome you both. we thank you for taking the time to share with us, and you are now recognized for what ever statement you would like to
make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to come in here and present what we have to say. i would just our of saying that this was our fifth your wedding anniversary trip, the first trip to europe. we were both very excited. as ms. brown had said earlier, it is a very affordable way to travel. we had cruised before, so that helped us make up our mind to take another cruise. we boarded the costa concordia on friday, january 13 from italy between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. the boarding process was fairly easy.
we had to surrender our passports to the crew members. after that we went to our room that was on the ninth deck. at this point we had no communication regarding the emergency safety drills or any instruction from anyone from the crew telling us where to go in case of emergency. we were very happy to be on board. soon after getting situated, we started to one pack of luggage and started to get ready for our dinner reservation at 9:00 p.m. on the third deck. at about 9:50, we were at our dinner table on deck 3 and in process of ordering our food. house and that moment there is a violent shaking of the ship, followed by a loud crash noises and plates and glasses broke due to the listing of the ship toward the starboard side. lights went out immediately, but there was no announcement as
to what had happened. it was pitch dark with no visibility. everyone started to scream and a few minutes later the emergency lights came on. we observe the ship was no listing on the port side. this is when the first announcement came on, telling us it was nothing but an electrical failure and that everything was under control. crew members urged the passengers to remain calm and seated. the stuff started to bring out the people's food as if nothing had happened. we saw a few crew members in our dining room break down crying, extremely panic. when it left outside, we saw five-seven crew members wearing life jackets, but still they were telling us to remain calm and seated and the electrical issue was being worked on, and everything is under control. about 30 minutes into the situation, we are still in the dining room when my husband decided his " time for us to go and at least get our life jackets from the room. at this point we have no idea if we don't go back to the room, where rich can get our life jacket from.
i had spotted the life jackets and the closets of the room, as i was unpacking and putting our luggage away. as we went out of the dining room, there was water and wine in broken glass on the dining room floor. it was extremely hard for us to walk and maintain our balance. once outside, will immediately unable to locate the stairs as we had taken the elevator to get on deck 3. there were dim emergency lights indicating the stairs. we climbed six course to our room on that night to get to our room without a guiding us in the dark. somehow we manage to get to our room, holding the guard rails esperance, very much exhausted and no panic. there was a constant announcement of the same message. ladies and gentlemen, everything is under control and it seems to be a generator failure. please stay, and the
cooperative. all the announcements were made on behalf of the captain, and never once did we hear the captain speak. however, there was a sense of panic in the announcer's voice that kept making the announcement. finally we did manage to get our door unlocked, using our party, after several failed attempts. the room had no light at it was extremely dark. i stumbled upon a few things that had fallen on the floor. i husband decided to stand in the middle of the door to keep it open and pushing the furniture back to make some room to get our life jackets. the room furniture had shifted significantly. i knew where the life jackets were because i had just unpacked the luggage to range in the closet. once we got the lifejackets, we got out of the room and spotted our state room attended nearby. at that moment i asked the room attendant where are we supposed to go? she replied in a very irritated
tone, saying madam, at this point, there is no emergency. you do not need to go anywhere. please stay here and wait for further instructions and further emergency alarms to sound, which we had no idea how it would sound like. and she started walking away, we asked her again, in an emergency, where are we supposed to meet? she replied, the muster stations are on deck for. there were no emergency alarms going off. the same announcement of repeating, telling the passengers to remain calm, and the electrical issue is under control. we saw crew members running around panicked and frustrated. no one seemed to have a clear idea as to why -- what to do in this situation or where they were supposed to send us. people seem to direct themselves onto the deck 4 and stood near any available lifeboat. we saw a lot of people just sitting outside of their rooms,
waiting. people were also sitting on the stairs closest to dec 4, but we went ahead and stood closer to a lifeboat. at this point, there were three or four crew members for lifeboat and they were trying to keep the crowds away from the boats. there is no communication from their side as to when that would allow us to get on the lifeboat or what we are supposed to do. the time by now is around 10:30 p.m., and one of the crew members came in practically gave us the same instructions, urging all of us to go back to our rooms and wait for further instructions, and everything is under control. we decided to stay near the exit door near the lifeboat. by now it was difficult to stand straight as that ship was listing toward the port violently. we decided among ourselves and located a rock which could swim
to in case they kept us waiting any longer to get into the lifeboats. all asking a couple of crew members to tell us what had happened, they simply shrug their shoulders and went on. the lifeboat crew kept waiting for further instructions from the captain that never came. people started to panic and get frustrated as the ship is tilting more by the minute. we were aggravated and the crowd was pushing and shoving against each other. there were no sign of emergency alarms or evacuation instructions from the captain. finally the life boat crew let us on as they saw the crowd getting in rage and out of control. everyone was shoving, pushing and kicking to get on to the lifeboats. at this point i would like to close and handoff to my husband, mr. chairman. >> once on the lifeboat, we both -- people stood, whatever they could do. within one minute, the boat was
full with all the people. now the lifeboat was overcrowded, and while the crew members were trying to disengage the boat from the ship, it would not happen. at this point, the crew members are asking people to get off the lifeboats because it is overcrowded. however, we did not see anybody at this point go to another lifeboat. once we are in their, in the life of, that was the most scary part of all the tragedy for us, when the lifeboat was still stuck, followed by the bank and noise of the hammers, the equipment they were trying to used to break off the ropes. once the ropes broke off, a ripping noise came like
something had ripped from the boat, and now we landed right into the water. we thought that now we are on to the water, at this point we will be able to at least get out if we have to, because now we can see a rock near by. once we were on the water, it was not immediate the boat started to move because of the overweight of the boat. we started seeing the blue smoke coming out of the boat and it was not moving at all. it was making almost like a circle, as there was a current nearby caused by the ship. the boat is not moving at all. now we are seeing a tall, gigantic building of the ship leaning on top of our boat. at this point, i asked my wife,
who does not know how to swim, i said we have a life jacket, i am going to try to take this tarp off and we are going to jog now, because we are about 10 minutes into the boat that has not moved an inch, and the ship is moving on top of us every single second. so from this point, as i am trying to lift the tarp in order to jump out of the like but, i am unable to do that. instruction by the crew member was to keep the tarp on while we were on the water, and a lot of people were working against an with me to pick up the tarp. but i was unable to do it. soon after, inch by inch, the boat started to move, and finally we were able to get away from the cruise ship. that is when we spotted nearby
there was a lighthouse and we were able to get out. one of the things i noticed while we were on the boat, the coast guard from italy or also nearby, and that is what was giving us the assurance if we had to jump out and stay on to that rocked nearby, someone would come and get us. so we do thank the coast guard who were there, which we now learn that it was by the people, passengers who had called the coast guard, and not any member from the crew who had gone to the police or to the coast guard for help. once on shore, confusion and chaos continued.
it would not end. while we were on the ground, we were thinking we were being assured by a crew member all the time, held a electrical issue could cause a ship to shipping. there was not one instance where a crew member or anybody had mentioned that there was anything wrong other than the electrical issue. we felt very frustrated, very much like to at that point. i and my wife, who were celebrating our fifth year wedding anniversary, we trusted these people with our lives, and they took it for granted and were not honest with us at any given point. thank you. >> that is a pretty compelling account of your experience. i had a number of questions, but the thoroughness of your statement, you have covered the
questions that i had. >> thank you for your statement and testimony. i am sorry about your experience. >> thank you for your statement in testimony. i'm sorry about your experience. i am having nothing to do with it. i am embarrassed by what happens. it is shocking what happens. anytime that we are informed that the vessel had struck a rock, >> never. the first time we got to know that iraq had struck was when we were in the u.s. embassy the next day. we saw a completely submerged in water. >> at any time were you given any guidance about how to evacuate the ship at the time? >> no.
there's the time as long as we were on the ship or the life boats that what to do or what ever, and it was the crucial time they had. not one person from the crew or anybody had mentioned what had happened. >> that even when things were calm? >> not at all. life the city's bought his jackets. you leave me with the impression that you were not acted told they were. >> it is only one that are the only because i was tanking 1 up. that is when i ended up spot sing it. they did not tell us where they were. i opened the closet and i saw the jacket there.
>> i have no idea where they were. only she did. >> the italian coast guard, it sounded like a good response. >> yes. >> i am glad you are here to give us this firsthand experience but i am sorry. thank you very much for coming. >> thank you for being here for what occurred. i am sorry that both of you have to go through this as well as every member on that ship. a couple of quick questions that i have. was this your first cruise ship or did you have experiences?
>> this is our second. this was our first transatlantic cruise. >> were there any differences between the one needed before and this one's in terms of safety procedures that's correct absolutely. the one before we were explained of the security drill. we are told not to go back to your room. they showed as for the life jackets were. they made is go through how we are supposed to get on to the lifeboat and what is the protocol. >> to that happen for this cruise? >> no. at no point where we told or the muster stations where are who we are supposed to contact. luckily, we do not have any kids. i'm grateful. a lot of times the kids are separate from the parents. we had no information what to do. >> is it fair to say they you
feel you are not properly communicated to regarding the safety standards what you're on the ship? >> correct. >> can you talk a little bit about -- i'm trying to understand what was communicated to you after you vacated once you are on safe ground. >> at any point, the crew members were kept waiting for some announcements. it never came from the captain. now people were very enraged and very angry. the ship had tilted. at every point we were told that it was in a logical issue and that everything is under
control and that we do not have to get off the boat at this point. >> this is coming from either the crew or the staff? >> yes. it to someone on behalf of the captain. >> how long was the message communicated? >> from 9:30 to 10:54, while we were on that lightboat, the same message was being presented to us. the only reason i know specific times is because i had gone back and recorded the timing. >> can you convey to this panel when you were first notified or aware of actual damage that occurred?
or you on the ship the? i saw when we are off the ship. >> with at to see the damage and what happened. we came to know the reason the announcements were because the captain was not there. >> can you convey, how has the company managed communicating with you in terms of offering you a tax have been compensated you? >> we have made a lot of independence plans.
-- be on this cruise ship. immediately, if the cruise line had for what was charged by then. they requested to send this other charges that had occurred. of the communication had been mailed. >> thank you for testifying. my apologies to you. >> thank you. >> thank you so very much. everything you're saying is what it is that went wrong and how we can improve. step one, every game was not held properly. did you all embarked there are some other place?
i understand this was not the first sailing. have you just entered the shift? >> this is our first day. that was another thing we notice. all the other people had some paperwork in their mailbox. my husband happened to ask what was going on in. what did they have the paper and why do we not? they said because it was a nonstop crews. for the people who are in the other rooms, it is the last day and there disembarking. since he embarked elsewhere, this is your first day. >> we were in the hours of fire crews. we had just gone on to its. >> you on it around dinner time. >> yes. >> the new procedure is regardless, that they will give
you the safety information. we really need to record everything that happens to make sure that it never absolutely happens again. i am so happy for your safety and coming here to enlighten us as to what happened step-by- step. there is no excuse that the captain was not there. he did not up his responsibility. i understand he was dining. he did not see him at dinner. he was not at the captain's table. >> no. >> i'm trying to make a joke. but it is the joke. clearly if you're the captain of a ship, you have a responsibility to make sure that your passengers are safe.
it goes back to one person i cannot imagine anyone responding in that mannerism. i am happy that you all are safe. thank you so much for coming. i yield back the balance of my time. >> >> i agree. this is a teachable moments. >> this is the fifth wedding anniversary? >> yes. congratulations. >> thank you. i'm sorry you had to go through this hell. hopefully nothing like this will happen again. going back to the teachable
moment, i know you thought about this. i want to thank you for your testimony. it is very clear. the city had been on cruises before reduce said you had been no crises' before -- you said you had been on cruises before. there'll be some testimony later on. on feb 9, they instituted a new passenger muster requirement, mustard drills before embarking passengers prior to the report. this is a new policy which exceed existing requirements. to those people that may be in the room, what would you like to make sure it's in the drill? having had this experience, many have not gone through this
experience. looking back on it, what kind of information would you have loved to have seen or heard? >> the first thing we would have liked to see is getting some kind of information, even if it is the basic information. they were telling us please proceed to the deck. this is where the security area will be. we went to this occurs, we trusted the captain and the crew members that they know what they're doing. no deserves to die on their vacation let alone go through all this trouble.
we would have loved to see some sort of assurance or direction saying where the life jackets are, where the life of both star, who was supposed to do what. we knew who to contact. something like that would have been really nice to see. language was another barrier. a majority of the crew members had difficulty speaking and it made more frustrating. we had to wait for someone to translated into ingress. it started to change. that also added to the aggravation and confusion. >> allotted time we try to find people who spoke english. they'll let us know what had happened.
we relied on a third party. a life jacket location would have been nice. i actually had no idea. if joe was not for our team, we would have to go all the way from the third deck to the ninth pair it is for any other things that were in the room. >> you said that you had contact with the cruise. you said they compensated you
>> to your knowledge, have you now release them from any future liability? had you wanted wanted to claim any other damages, heaviside anything that says the company is no longer liable? -- have you signed anything that says the company is no longer liable? >> no. we of not signing anything that replaces them from further liability. >> they had mentioned that they will try to recover our belongings and get back. at this point there would like to know the estimated valuables that we left behind in case they are unable to get those to us.
>> would you take a cruise again? >> not in the near future. >> thank you very much. >> anything else? >> thank you for being here. it is very thorough, a compelling. it helps us piece together what our mandate was for a complete picture. at least from my standpoint, it points to one individual who judgment has resulted in a lot of as much worse from others. we believe we will be following
up with the investigation as it continues. your being here was helpful. we thank you very much. we do not have any more questions. we will take a brief adjournment to go to our third panel. >> thank you. >> we will come back to order. we will recognize christine's death the who is president and ceo of the cruise line. she is accompanied by the executive director and vice presidents. the only u.s. high-capacity cruise vessel currently in operation. wii thank you for being here.
industry where three closely and depend upon the coast guard. we wish to express our condolences. i want to thank you for being here today. i would certainly prefer it to be with you today under verythe incident has had a profound impact on our entire industry. i speak for all of our members in expressing our deeper consults as to everyone that has been affected. as an industry, and we're committed to examining what happened, lessons that can be learned, and working with governments and regulators to ensure that recommended measures are adopted. my remarks today will not focus on speculation over the causes
of the concordia incident. there are ongoing investigations of law enforcement authorities. we hope to have their conclusions as soon as possible. this represents 26 major cruise lines serving north america at a more than 16,000 affiliated travel agents across the united states. last year our member line 211 ships, surged 16.3 million passengers, up from 7.2 million in the year 2000. safety is this industry's number one priority. it is absolutely essential to our business. nothing is more important than that. every aspect of the experience is heavily regulated. a united nations industry mandates global standards for
the safety and operation of cruise ships. the most important of these standards are the details and the international convention for the safety of life at sea. if provide its the world wide set of mandates. there are evacuation and navigation standards. a vital parts is the international safety management code which assigns safety responsibilities and procedures so that every member understands and is trained in his or her responsibilities, especially in the event of an emergency. the stringent standards embodied by the organization have-but multiple layers of enforcement. to fitin the united states, the
u.s. coast guard enforces all maritime regulatory requirements unannounced inspection and a rigorous inspection of every ship that embarks passengers. at any time, the local coast guard captain can prevent any cruise ship from departing a serious violation. because of the commitment to safety is supported by strict regulation, it is one of the very safest forms of recreation and travel in the world. there were a total of 28 fatalities on cruise ships
related to operational casualties out a 223 million passengers and crew who sailed during those years. 22 of those fatalities involved crewmembers. six involved passengers. let me be very clear. not a single fatality is acceptable to our industry. we have and we will continue to work hard to urban such incidents as. we treat these as a profound reminder of our duty to continuously improve our practices, procedures, and performance. the incident is the difference. almost immediately following the accident, they launched a cruise industry operational safety review. it is a comprehensive assessment of the critical human factor and operational aspects of maritime safety.
this review is under way. it allows them to share best practices on operational procedures consulting with experts and collaborating closely with government and regulatory bodies to implement the changes. i am pleased that on february 9 the instituted the first of these recommendations announcing the new buster -- muster policy for embarking passengers prior to departure. this policy has been taken by members both here and abroad and exceeds existing legal requirements and became effective immediately. as best practices emerged, recommendations will be made on and-of -- an ongoing basis.
this is a long tradition in our industry to focus on continuous improvements to proactively improve safety procedures. they work with congress to enact new laws that are dedicated. the work of many members to assist in the development and enactment of the security and safety act in july 2010 bringing consistency and clarity to the security and safety regulations for the industry in the united states. the cruise lines are already in compliance with all affected precision's. we will continue to work with law-enforcement agencies both in the united states and around the united states to ensure all of the provisions are fully implemented.
thank you again for the opportunity to provide this testimony. we remain fully and deeply committed to continued enhancement of the safety of our crew members and guests as it is without question our most important priority. i look forward to respond to your question. thank you. >> thank you. you are recognized. >> members of the subcommittee, my name is george. i'm the senior vice president for marine operations for
princess cruises. it is a subsidiary of the carnival corp.. on behalf of the entire carnival family, i want to first of all say that we are all deeply saddened by this tragic accident involving the concordia. our thoughts and our hearts are with the passengers, crew, and their families. the safety of our passengers and crew are our top priority. every day we strive to achieve high levels of safety. we're committed to intensifying his efforts as much as we can. prior to working for princess cruises, i worked in the coast guard for 27 years. a retired in the rank of captain. my last assignment was the
coast guard captain of the los angeles port. when or responsible for all coast guard operations in southern california. my duty varied widely. including surrey and as a member on the u.s. delegation to the international maritime organization where we were committed to progress the emphasis and focus on the role of the human elements in preventing maritime casualty is. the casualt -- casualties. my goal is to provide environmentally sound operations that are safe and secure in compliance to the rules and regulations. we accomplish this through the establishment of policies and procedures that meet or exceed
national and international requirements entered training and inspections both internal and external. with respect to the compliance, the take control. if aboard the ships at any time. regular ones are with ports. training is an integral part of safety. it takes years and years of experience. pryor's to being hired, they must perform the functions required for their level of response was the on board. our crew members focus on the safe and secure sound operations every day.
they have instructions as to their duties. they have instructions as to their duties. they also participate in on fire and abandoned ship drills and attend one every month. specific life-saving in firefighting training is also provided in either shore based or ship programs. important. regarding musters, we announced
the policy voluntarily adopted that exceed international requirements by calling for an mandatary prior from departing from port. these are explain to the passengers. the carnival group of companies have engaged outside industry leading efforts. in the fields of emergency response, training, and implementation. it brings training to conduct an audit. and to conduct a thorough review the costa concordia accident. lessons learned.
audit and providing recommendations to the industry-wide operational safety review so that the entire cruise industry can benefit from our learning. i appreciate the opportunity to thank you. >> thank you. >> before i begin my formal statement, i like to give my condolences to members of the u.s. coast guard that we have lost. also those who have lost loved ones are suffered lost on the costa concordia. i currently served as captain of the norwegian cruise lines and have more than 30 years of
seafaring experience. you on behalf of the entire cruise industry. all of us appreciate the time in consideration you are applying. we appreciate you giving us this opportunity to appear before youwhile i am unable to provide specific information or concord the incident, i can provide expert opinion on the preparedness. i make captain for norwegian cruise lines that operates foreign flag ships and a u.s. flag ship. ships since 2005 and have served as master for the u.s. and international fleet. prior to joining norwegian cruise lines, and served asi
graduated from the marine academy in 1982. as the captain, the safety of passengers is my priority. i take into account every factor possible in determining the best course of action to ensure the safety of my passengers and crew. the industry is heavily regulated with strong enforcement mechanisms, the international maritime mandates for safety and operation cruise ships. it provides comprehensive mandate on safety equipment. operation of cruise ships whether they are u.s. or foreign flags. the outlines chipboard and crew procedures.
they have drills and exercises that are required. the bus to fully documented. they're subjected to internal and external audits by shipping classification society. ship operations. ships. there must be trained in accordance with the stringent ones. the u.s. coast guard conducts oversight of cruise ship operations, and its port state control program. the coast guard conducts annual inspections and regularly reinspect all cruise ships that embark passengers in u.s. ports.
alcee fares, including captains and bridge officers must be trained in accordance with the stringent standards. while there remain a safe form of transportation, we train for worst-case situations with the safety of passengers and crew is given the highest party. -- highest priority. another critical part of the duties has to do with the management of the bridging team. it is a process by which all members of the bridge team coordinate and maximize effectiveness of procedures during critical operations to enhance navigational safety. all crew members received training in emergency procedures, safety, and training. drills.
they also address record- keeping for the drills. they're constantly reviewing the operations. they can improve the safety and security but passengers. want to thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to testify. the well-being of our passengers and crew members will remain our highest priority. i will be pleased to answer any additional questions regarding these topics. thank you. >> thank you.
good afternoon. i in the legislative director for the international union. there are a variety of capacities. -- conducting this hearing. we would like to thank you for conducting this hearing. and for all of your consent -- continued support for the u.s. merchant marines. critical need for well-trained ships. it is important given the vast majority are hospitality staff members are well trained. difference. our training center has been training maraniss for almost a century.
since its founding, the center has trained over 185,000 students and issued more than 250,000 certificates to mariners. we have done this since 1978. we were proud to be part of a region corzine americas reestablishment of the american flag cruise industry it thousand five, and our members sell alongside the captain on the pride of america. to assist in the training of cruise ship personnel, we opened a new state of the art training facility in hawaii. it provides basic safety and cruise ships entered training to meet the needs of our u.s. flag fleet and the increased demand for mariners in hawaii in trade. we have trained over 4000 crewmembers and provide training to outside crews, including the hawaii national guard all of our training programs are designed to comply with the requirements that were discussed earlier, the
standards of training secure it -- certification and a watch- keeping, and all coast guard regulations. the specifics are available in my written testimony. at the end of the day when it comes to training, all of our crew members, and mariner and non-meron are alike, must know what to do in the event of an emergency. not because they must do so under the law, because so many lives are dependent on it. while we are confident that we provide the best training in the world and that the coast guard is there to ensure that our mariners of met legal requirements, we're confident when it comes to vessel -- we are less confident about vessels sailing under the flags of convenience there is a growing concern for safety and the cruise industry. the vast majority of cruise ships calling on u.s. courts are selling under a, , panama, or by media -- bermuda flags. the issue is not what the proper standards are available internationally. we feel that the requirements
are generally adequate. so long as they are complied with. the continued concern over fraudulent mariner documents and a world economic crisis that has put millions out of work, it is kernot the coal that we know the mariner who reports for duty is who she says she is in the the document is what it reports to be. that is best done under a system with strong flags at the control, as we have in united states. that was made clear this morning. we're also concerned with the ship communication between crew members and passengers. while this is not an issue on u.s. flag vessels where most of the crew are american and speak english, in others, the crews are of various nationalities and often do not speak the same language. even aboard the costa concordia, an italian cruise ship, there were crewmembers from over 40 nationalities. and there were issues with communication and a language barrier on board that ship that
contributed to some of the issues that were found there. we find it hard to believe that breakdowns in communications in a crisis, they're simply going to be inevitable. while crew training and communication are important, we believe that to protect the passengers, passengers themselves must feel confident that they know what to do in the event of an emergency. that is why we strongly support the policy that has been spoken of multiple -- multiple times this morning. it requires mandatory musters for embarking passengers. as current law notes, that is not the case under regulation imo . as the costa concordia accident has proven, this is not good enough. accidents can happen at any time and passengers must know what to do in an emergency, even when the ship gets underway. as will work together to avoid accidents like the costa concordia, we must remember that the best way to protect passengers and respond to
emergencies through to the crew members are well-trained and professor -- professional. training saves lives. it is that simple. thank you for allowing us to testify today. i would be happy to and 30 questions you have. >> thank you very much. captain, i would like to start with you. thank you again for being here. i do not believe we have been acquainted before today. i come away with the distinct impression that if you had been the captain of the costa concordia, we would not be having this hearing today. i believe you heard the testimony from the married couple. >> yes, sir. >> could you walk us through if you are a captain of private american or a ship that had an unforeseen accident, how after
the accident, you would have handled that situation or you would have instructed the crew to handle that situation? >> well, i would not want to comment on the actual costa concordia accident -- >> to a hypothetical. >> in the event of an accident, we have the processes and procedures in place to put out a general alarm at the moment where you need to bring passengers to muster stations. >> i understand with the nature of the miss addition, you probably cannot go there. can you say, as captain of the pride of america, would you have turned off the track for any reason in a similar situation? >> i do not see a situation where we would put ourselves into a similar situation as that, no, sir. >> i think probably the balance
of the questions would be a problem for you. i do not want to put you in that situation. ms. duffy, if we can turn it to you -- have been made or do you plan to make other policy changes in response to this accident? >> so, as i stated, we announced the operational safety review almost immediately following the concord yet incident -- incident. we're working through a process with our member lines are also conducting internal reviews, which is also required whenever there is an incident like this under the safety management code. so this review will have several different phases that it will go through, and there will be, we anticipate, other best practices and lessons-learned that we will be able to implement and communicate, particularly as the
italian authorities completes the ongoing investigation. >> it does the association have a model policy on the abandoned ship policy, and if so, have your members adopted these policies? >> the association sits at the international maritime organization as the non- governmental organization, and with all of our members, follows the regulations that are placed under the so is discusslus, as well as the international safety code in all of the crew training and emergency preparedness that is required of our members. >> in light of all this, have you gone back and review crew training on all of your ships since the accident? >> that is one of the areas under the operational safety review particularly focused on human factors, which will include crew training.
>> thank you. can you tell us with the differences between training aboard a u.s. flag cruise vessel and a foreign vessel operating in compliance with training standards? >> yes, at least under our situation, we make sure that all of the members of the seafarers receive the same training that qualifies them to sell both on the u.s. live vessel as well as on a foreign flag ships. in general, the requirements are fairly similar. solas requirements match what is required of crewmembers. all crew members aboard u.s. vessels are required to take a number of courses, in addition to the standard basic life safety training which provides firefighter training, personal survival training. they also give training on how to handle crowd management, as well as human behavior in
emergency. at least they're given the basic training to be able to direct passengers to the master station, get them on board their life crafts, and get those life crafts of the ship in a timely fashion. some members are given a specific training on survival craft operations. we have a 37-hour course that trains members to do that. >> excuse me, how many hours? >> 37 hours. we also had training for search and rescue on the vessel as well for folks who are responding. we have had a very good track record. members respond to a number of emergency situations. that is on cruise ships but also when there is a need to give folks a lot of objects very quickly. in particular, i highlights that our members are the first on at the scene during the miracle of the hudson in new york when the airliner landed in the hudson. members of the siu on board, they were -- and the ships are
able to take passengers off the airliner quickly. we're very proud of what they have been able to accomplish. >> at thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do not know why it was so ingrained in me -- i have been watching a lot of television. there is this pop culture phrase that certainly was ingrained in me going up, the captain goes down with the ship. it is like the ultimate responsibility goes with the person in charge of the ship. and that lesson, you can apply that anywhere. somebody has to be responsible when something is under way. i think that is why, for u.s. viewers of news on this particular case, there is such a shock, hearing stories of this
particular captain. it runs counter to sort of everything that many of us grew up learning. and so, that is one of the reasons why we're here today, to try to understand not just what is behind that idea but would you all do on a cruise vessel to ensure that their responsibility is distributed. folks know what their jobs are. ultimately, this one person as with every job is the that is the captain. everyone else is supposed to do the job. and there is a question of training and so on that the chairman has been asking about. a couple of questions about the responsibility on at the ship -- of the ship. captain, the cruise line industry, and i am thinking of solas, has to effectively
evacuate people within 30 minutes of the ship. how does that happen? how you train for that? how do you do that? >> the training is consummate, ongoing, and the key is for the weekly trainings that we have, the all-hands crews training, and we have scenario-based training. in atchison today, there is constant training going on throughout the month. every day, their art class is going on for one team or another. -- there are classes going on. there is training and drilling that you're able to accomplish that mission. >> does training take place while you are under way for the crew that is on a the ship? >> yes, sir. it is ongoing throughout the operation.
>> perhaps for mr. wright, are your captain? >> retired captain. >> captain wright, with regards to the training, when folks report for duty, save for the cruise season, how much contact in your particular company, how much contact you have with folks before they even get to the ship? so they're prepared for the first cruise as well as when they get the ongoing training as you are working through the season. >> so they undergo the mandatory training that my colleagues have identified. and then, we have a team of the
fleet safety instructors. and they have been trained in all of the required mandatory training, such as proficiency in survival craft in the rescue boats, and survivability and all those. crown management, crisis management. they will go and stay on the ship, team two, for a week or two, maybe three times a year. and they've been trained the crew right on at the scene with the ship's equipment and spend the time that they can in that situation, because they are taken away from their other duties. so they fit that in around the schedule. so it is pretty comprehensive that have those emergencyeople duties, including the muster personnel and a stairway guides, so that if there is a terrible panic situation like that, they know the proper situation to
provide, including making sure that the state room steroids turn on the channel, the emergency channel, that shows the passengers as soon as they get in the past -- into the cabin, the emergency procedures they should follow, and also show the were the life jackets are. that is the kind of ongoing thing that we do on board the ship. >> mr. schoeneman, can you talk about the retraining that was done? >> we do upgrades and a great training for all of our mariners based on the amount of time they have been at sea. they're able to come back to maryland to get a great training. we provide as much as we possibly can to our members to make sure that they know they have the ability to come back and get that training. and it is union benefit. generally, we do our best to make sure that when the walk up
the plank that they know enough and are familiar enough with the systems on board the vessel, as well as general training guidelines, so they can do the job and the passengers on and off the ship in an emergency in the most efficient manner possible. we put a high emphasis in training, and we look forward to working with clea and others as the work on standards. >> how often did your crews practice muster thousandsin passg address? >> three times per month is the all-hands training emergency drill. four times a month, we do it the four week of the month, we do part of the entire muster. three times a week, we go through the entire process, including launch enough lifeboats. >> clean launch? >> yes. from the initial stages of a
plan is an area of emergency up through the evacuation process. >> to you have any unplanned scenario or emergencies? >> yes, we do. >> you do? what is the difference between a planned scenario emergency and an unplanned scenario emergency? >> well, we have scheduled a drill times. you're taking 1000 crewmembers and putting them through these processes, so you have to pick the times in which to do that. in an addition to that, we will also have an unplanned emergencies, things that would activate certain sets of emergency response teams. as part of a surprise drill, just to help maintain readiness. >> yeah, ok. maybe back to captain wright, to have had experience there. tell me about planning for the arctic and antarctica, applying this kind of training into those
settings. >> so the planning for cruising in those regions -- >> planning for the emergencies in those settings. >> right, we have crews dying in a dark to cut -- in an arc to cut several years. the measures that we go to art to conduct an exhaustive risk assessment of the whole operation. some of the measures that we implemented as a result of that risk assessment was to do some extra damage control training and provide equipment on board the ship, based on our experience in the military. and it was so successful we decided to implement that on other ships. we also man of the ship with two captains so that they could run
on/off, and there was always a captain on at the bridge or available to be on the bridge. we brought an ice pilot from argentina to be on the ship for advice, as well as another captain whose expertise was in full-blown icebreaker duty through most of his career. so these two advisers would advise the ships. as well, we positioned a member of the marine operations department in the marine rescue coordination center. in the event the ship ran into the worst-case scenario, we would already have a princess cruises employee in the rescue center. finally, we employ to someone
like myself on the ship, so there would be a senior ranking company officer there to immediately launch any kind of emergency operation needed. >> one last question. will these be applied in the arctic as well? this is pretty much antarctica. >> we have looked at applying any extra procedures in any region. we will always take a look at that. >> thank you. >> ms. brown. >> thank you. i will start with ms. duffy. i have a couple questions. one, you mentioned operations safety, and i know that you're conducting a policy review. when it do you think it is going to be completed? i know that you made changes in the muster drill, but other city
operates it -- recommendations? >> the process is ongoing. we want to be able to proceed raddle with best practices ideas. we want to announce those and have them implemented. i should say that this work, while very specific and the costa concordia incident was the catalyst for announcing this particular operational safety review, within clea we have at least 25 standing committees that meet on a regular basis throughout the year. focused on issues of safety, security, environmental, all different aspects. it brings different cruise line members together with the clea technical and regulatory team we have in place, which are all ex- retired-koster, people with expertise in these specific areas. -- x coast guard, retired, people with expertise in these areas.
>> having been a former member of clea, i heard a lot of discussions about english, and i know we all think everybody should speak english. but one of the reasons why you do cruises is because you get that international flavor. you go to the bahamas or mexico. but one thing is universal, money. everybody understands you do not have enough. the question is safety. are there ways to communicate that are not in english that we can make sure everybody understand the procedure, whether they speak english or what ever they speak? people in the church, they have 36 deval languages in that church. can you speak to that? >> as was said earlier, the crew members that are recruited to be put on a ship speak multiple languages. and there is a language of the ship. and that is the primary language that the crew communicates with
on board that ship. however, there are multiple languages spoken, focused on the demographics or the makeup of the passengers who are on that ship. so english is often spoken as one of the languages that you would find on any of the ships, but there's always an official language that the crew uses. i believe that for the bridge team and the team in the engine room that english is the international language for those groups. >> captain hoyt, i was very impressed with your expertise and training. you know, you could be mike captain any time. however, that training and expertise, i do not know how you deal with common sense. because it seemed like this
particular captain lacked common sense, and that is something that my grandmother had and she did not go to college. so what can we do to identify that what happened does not happen again -- maybe, why was this captain allow it to change the pre-programming by the company? i mean, i know you need some flexibility, but i am just curious. >> within our company, there is a process by which a plan is developed and is then confirmed by other members of the bridge team. then it it is implemented after a full brief of the navigation staff prior to departure. any deviation from that that would be necessary for reasons of safety would engender a new plan or an immediate deviation if necessary, which would then be discussed with the bridge team as a whole. we utilize a navigator and co-
navigator system on the bridge of our ships. and that is how the system works for us. that is what keeps a check and balance in the mix. >> mr. wright, can you answer that also? >> very similar. the course is plotted by the team. you're required to have a voyage passage plan from first to birth. that is plotted in either an electronic chart or paper chart or whatever system the ship is using. and that is all discussed ahead of time, a day or two or three with the bridge team are captain. agreed, signed off on by the captain. and any deviation to that would be for avoiding another ship, the weather, or some other type of situation.
if there was a reason to deviate, then the team would regroup, decide what to do, approve it again, double check it, and that is your passage plan. >> with railroads, if a car goes off a certain track, then the home office is notified. is that true with the cruise? this particular captain, this is not the first time that he deviated from the pattern that he is supposed to use. >> the ship is the best to lay down the track for their voyage from birth to birth. they are there. they're extremely familiar with the currents, the weather conditions, and the traffic patterns, so they set the chart. in an electronic system, if you
deviate from that track, the bridge would get an alarm. they would react to that. for example, the ship is being set off course. but the office does not get notified of every deviation, and the office does not plan at birth to birth voyage for the ships. the ships are the best one to do that. >> it is so important that we had the right captain on the ship? >> it is important have the right bridge team. >> the whole team. >> the whole team. >> ok. >> so we have experience with the center for maritime training, simulator for maritime training, where we will make sure that we get all of our bridge officers, particularly all the senior officers that are in charge of a watch, through simulator training time. and also, the academic side, or they're taught about the human element, taught about incidents that happened within our own companies, with in the carnival corporation, and then they run
practices to make sure that does not happen in the simulator so it doesn't happen on the ship. >> thank you very much. i yield back my balance of my time. we will all learn from this experience, i know. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to our witnesses for being here today. i would especially like to thank captain hoyt who is taking time away from selling the world on your sailboat in from capping the flood of america in hawaii to be here. the cruise industry is going in hawaii, and that is good thing. last year, 125 possible travel to hawaii on cruise ships and spent $34 million, a 52% increase over 2010. for most people, a cruise to hawaii or the caribbean or other destinations is an important component of our travel and tourism industry which is responsible for millions of jobs nationwide. unfortunately, the costa concordia and other incidents
remind us that tragedy can strike at any time. i recognize that there is an ongoing investigation into this incident, and i recognize also -- and that is why you're all here, that the industry is taking steps to ensure the safety of everyone aboard their vessels. however, i would like to focus my questions on matters of existing maritime law, some of which have been on the books for over 100 years. i think we owe it to the victims of these tragedies and their families to have a candid discussion about whether these laws still work and whether we should revisit and update them. one of these laws is the death on the highs -- beyond the high seas act, over 90 years old. under this law, a cruise passengers are only entitled to their economic damages. that means that retirees, children, stay at home spouses, and low-income workers -- in other words, people who have little or no economic value
under the law, they are only entitled to the cost of their funeral or coffins. i would like to ask all of the panel members to briefly respond to this question. do you think it is equitable to deny maritime victims who died aboard your ships as a result of negligence the same protections that are afforded to those who died on land or in the commercial aviation accident on the high seas? could you briefly give me your response to this? start from my left. >> so the death on the high seas act i would say is a complex piece of legislation. i am not an attorney and not in the position to be of a comment here on the specific provisions or measures at this time. what i can say is that the
cruise industry will certainly work with congress to look at any specific piece of legislation that addresses the interests of our passengers and the concerns that you have expressed, just as we have done with the cruise vessel security and safety act. >> i am a marine operations guy, and i really just would not -- it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the this. >> i am afraid i, too, and not that familiar with the act. it is out of the scope of what it is i do. i am not sure. >> well, maybe we need another hearing. be that as in may, suffice to say, people who do not have jobs or retire children under this law, they're pretty much headed off at the past in terms of any kind of recovery. this 100-year law, i believe,
definitely needs to be revisited and i am sure that if you had your child, you're retired parents on asia -- [applause] and where they suffer death or injury, i am sure you would want them to be fairly compensated. that pretty much -- you know, mr. chairman, i would like to enter into the record under unanimous consent -- if that very 21 reuters article that talks about the various kinds of laws that are currently on the books that needs to be revisited -- a february 21 article. it needs to be revisited for those short injured or die on the high seas. >> without objection, so ordered. >> i would also like to know for the record the testimony of dennis young, which was placed into the record by my colleague that really focuses on making sure that there are the hiring of very qualified and training
longshore workers to perform the kind of handling of operations and loading and unloading operations, that they are particularly trained, since this entire hearing is about safety. i would also like to note, mr. chairman, that while our test of fires unfortunately are not able to respond to the specific -- while those testifying are not able to respond to my specific questions, suffice it to say, the cruise industry has major protections that limit recovery that they're able to put into their contracts, things that are called for rum clauses that the u.s. supreme court has said are ok, and this has led to the cruise industry placing all kinds of other limitations on who people can sue, where they can sue, how much recovery, what they are entitled to recover. and that is a very, unlike many
other industries where there is a rather larger panoply of remedies available to them. thank you, mr. chairman, for meat -- allowing me to ask my questions. i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. schoeneman, how many siu members were in the industry? >> i believe it is between 2000 and 3000. i will have to check. >> can you do that for me? >> not a problem. >> clearly, ms. duffy, we learned something from this. did we not? >> yes, sir, we have. >> what did we learn from this incident? and me ask you why i am asking this. this is not a set-up question.
clea, to its credit, decided that come up beginning on february 9 that they were going to have this mandatory muster drills. that tells me that we learned something that caused clea to act so fast. i am wondering, what did we learn, and how was that decision made? >> i think what we learned as part of the incident was that the muster policy, while the regulation and allowed for that to be conducted within 24 hours, that we would better serve our passengers and a safety by conducting the muster prior to departing the port so that people immediately have the safety information and no where
to go and what to do in the event of an emergency. >> i am asking and -- asking this of all the representatives of the cruise lines. d believe that the experiences we heard about -- from the couple an hour or so ago, that occur on a vessel best serves the united states waters? could that have happened? >> i do not believe that, now that all of the mustard drills are being conducted immediately at departure, prior to departure, i think that people would have received the muster and know what to do a better direction. >> part of the testimony, too, though was that the crew did not seem to have a clue as to what was going on.
and that, you know, if you really think about it, you know, when you get on an airplane, they tell you that the -- you know, how to deal with the masks and seatbelts and all of that. but the implication is that the airline folk, the staff, knows what to do. and that situation on the hudson a few years ago where they were able to land the airplane miraculously and everybody got off in the water, they said a lot of that was due to staff being prepared to do what they had to do. if they had not been prepared, those people would eay had not , those people would be dead. i am just trying to figure out -- what about that part of it,
the training part? there are complaints about the training -- not the training, but nobody seemed to know what was going on. >> unfortunately, it would be inappropriate for me to speculate on what happened specifically with the crew or the training related to the costa concordia incident. >> well, talk about you. we're talking about yours. >> i can say that all seafarers are trained in accordance with the international maritime organization's standards that are outlined in the international convention on its standards of training, certification, and watch-keeping for seafarers. and that every officer for both navigation and engineering hold certificates of competency. all of the seafarers on the deck and the engines also hold certificates of proficiency. and as captain hoyt described,
there is ongoing and regular safety drills and training that crew is provided. >> anybody else? >> i would say that i felt confident in saying that if this happen on a u.s. vessel, the outcome would have been much different. >> little bit louder. >> this was on the u.s. flag vessel, it would have been much different. i believe our members are trained and able to communicate effectively amongst themselves and what passengers and we would have been able to get our folks off the ship with minimal loss of life. >> i see. anybody else? >> i would also like to add that in terms of safety, there's never any room for complacency. this is something we need to always be evaluating and reevaluating over the process. i would like to add that, having commanded ships both in the
international and the u.s. flag, that i would stand by the crews that i have had in both flags, the norwegian, and their responsibilities and responding to emergencies. >> one last thing. ms. duffy, you have got a c-span audience here. what would you say to them, you know, you have people now who do not have a lot of money. they are trying to get a little vacation. there probably planning it right now for when their kids get out of school. what would you say to them about the cruise industry in light of all that we have heard? this is your moment. >> as i said on behalf of the industry, the costa concordia incident is a terrible tragedy and the cruise industry does extend our condolences to everybody that was affected. i hope that you can see the industry has been very pro-
active and transparent in immediately calling for the operational safety review and that we have already begun to proceed with policies that have been implemented already. the cruise industry remains one of the very safest -- safest recreational activities and travel options. if you look at the safety record of the industry over the past decade prior to this incident, and i think we heard from the vice admiral this morning who also spoke to the strong safety record of the industry, the level of training, experience, investment in technology and innovation that has happened over the last decade as we have seen the cruise industry grow globally, i think stands as testament to the safety, the commitment of our members to safety as our top priority. otherwise we would not have a successful business. not only is it the right thing to do, but we continuously focus on ways that we can improve the
record that we have. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. without any further questions, i want to thank the current panel and the previous panel is very much. as i think everyone can tell, this will be an ongoing situation for the subcommittee. we will have a lot of questions that we need answered to see where we go from here. but i appreciate your involvement. meeting stands adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in his primary victories in
michigan and arizona, republican presidential candidate mitt romney is in dayton, ohio for a town hall- style event this afternoon. the state is, one of the 10 contests this coming super tuesday. c-span will have live road to the white house coverage from an aerospace and defense manufacturing plant. expected to get underway about 3:00 p.m. eastern. in washington state today, residents are heading to the polls to vote in their state's caucuses. the 43 delegates are non-audit, but a victory can provide momentum for the winner heading into super tuesday when 437 delegates are up for grabs across 10 states. tomorrow morning on "washington journal," newt gingrich will join us from the campaign trail and 9:30 a.m. eastern to talk about the race and his strategy. look at insight from the gop race in a swing states to watch in the general election from a political strategist. and the president of the terrorist group.
and a member of the washington institute previous the american- israel public affairs committee policy province being held in washington, d.c., tomorrow and live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. we will also have live coverage of aipac, with opening remarks from president obama as well as israeli president shimon peres. that is at 10:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> who will be vetted? >> you can we win with? >> none of them. >> obama changed the entire dynamic. >> look inside the new hbo movie and a best-selling book to get the inside story on just what happened in the 2008 presidential campaign. >> you know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull -- lipstick. >> sunday, the co-authors.
>> their irritation coming out of that speech was that she was an unalloyed asset to the campaign. for the week or 10 days immediately after that, she was. on the democratic side, there was a lot of concern as the mccain-palin ticket came out of that conviction ahead of barack obama in the national polls. people in the democratic side were sort of freaking out. >> we will talk about "game change" on sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span or anytime on c-span.org. >> if you said that the world would be begging for the u.s. to use force again in the middle east within three and a half years, everybody would have said you're crazy. >> the brookings institution fellow is not only an adviser to the romney campaign that also serves on secretary of state clinton's foreign policy advisory board. >> what i have been writing for years actually is that there is a lot of continuity in american foreign policy, more than we expect, a lot of a broad
consensus. i think what you're seeing here is the kind of consensus that exists in the foreign policy committee and there is probably a lot of overlap between the two parties. >> more on foreign policy and his latest "the world america made," sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> a supervisor at the dover air force base mortuary resigned last week after a recently released government report found gross mismanagement leading to the mishandling of remains of service members. an investigation by an independent panel also revealed partial remains from several 9/11 victims ended up in the delaware landfill. general john abizaid spoke to reporters for about 40 minutes on tuesday. >> good afternoon there, ladies and tillman. good to be here. i briefed the secretary yesterday, the chief of staff in the army, secretary of the army, chief of staff of the air force
and the secretary of the air force, and other people as well. deputy secretary of defense was there as well and chairman of joint chiefs. on the findings of this report. it is a complex subject, and it is going to require me to do some explanation to you. so i am going to use some charts. i do not normally do that. but i think in order to understand what happened here, you have got to take a look at it. of luck to publicly thank the members of the panel, a very distinguished groups of americans. general fred franks, caleb cage, gary, huey, jackie, more jury subject matter experts. a former member of congress, medical doctor. and very importantly, the gold star mother. it is very important to have her on the panel as well. i want to make sure you understand what we were told to
do and what we were not told to do so you can put this in perspective. of course, we were told to look 94 were-looking man there about whether or not we are moving in the proper direction to correct the deficiencies out at dover that were noted in a number of different reports. we were told to look at processes, techniques, procedures to make sure that those that were having deficiencies that are being corrected, that we note that to the secretary of defense if they have been corrected and look at overall systems to see of their working right or if there were three previously. we were not told, we were precluded from looking at in the of the disciplinary matters associated with the various investigations that have gone on. i think you'll hear later today from the secretary of the air force about those matters. some of those matters. but, again, that was not the charter of our committee. committee was composed of -- of
the panel was composed of very, very solid group of experts, and i think we were able to, over two months, look as close as we could in that short time span that the processes, procedures, and the activities, a chain of command, and more, to understand how to fix it. the good news, and there is good news, and i will get more to the news that probably is not so good as well, but the good news is that there has been a lot of progress made at dover. the air force put a new commander in there. the new commander is a very effective commander. he is doing an exemplary job in moving forward to correct the matters that were noted in the various investigative reports. the captain is the medical examiner at dover, also a very fine commander that is moving forward, correcting many of the deficiencies that were noted. an awful lot of the problems
associated with mishandling of remains, the final point of resting for the fallen, and more -- of these points are addressed in manners that people will appreciate, and we commend the year force in particular but the other services as well for moving forward in a positive way. however, there are a lot of things that need to be done there to correct problems that we saw, and it is important to understand that these problems need to be corrected right away. there is nothing more important than ensuring that to ensure thr troops in the field know that if they give their last full measure that the country will be doing everything for them that they are treated with dignity and respect and honor and reverence of the way to their final resting place. that is important and that is one of the most important themes
that pervaded everything that the subcommittee, to bring to your attention that we made a t.por the transcript will be available sometime. i do not know when, but it will be shortly. there was a discussion there. it can help you understand some of the more detailed technical issues from the report. but, it is critically important that we own up to what the problems were out there, that we correct them and understand that this is not just an air force problem. this is a department of defense issue. there were policy issues that were not clear. executive agencies was not strongly exercised by the army. the chain of command and command oversight was not properly conducted.
technical oversight was almost nonexistent. rules, regulations, etc. were not properly understood come disseminated, and taken into account. but i am going to do if you will bear with me, let me talk about the organization so you know how things are run. it is very complex. unless you understand these relationships in the organization, you probably cannot put this in proper context with regard to our recommendation. we have the organization's -- the air force martian. -- the air force mortuary service. the joint personal effects and various services. i urge you to focus on these four organizations.
i think you probably know what they do. the joint personal fx depot -- fx depuyt takes the final equipment and personal effects from the fall and and gets them to their destination. they also take personal effects from the field. it is a big job that they have. the liaison officers are the point of interface between the families and the armed forces, the air force more terrarium affairs office and and armed forces medical examiner. down here, this is hardly in
contention. what is done here is fully in conjunction. there is coordination responsible all along these lines. the armed forces medical examiner is where accountability of remains takes place. we found that from time to time, service liaison officers who were unable -- who were unable to get the proper information to families -- when you look at this chain of command and realize how it is reported, you look at the channels. afmao reports to the air force
-- the personnel officer. the service we as an officer reports directly to the respective service. next slide. could you go back, please. i want to make your people understand. the department of the army is the executive agent for mortuary affairs for the department of defense. they are responsible not only for -- do i need this? >> you do. >> ok. the army is the executive leader for the department of defense and they are responsible for harmonizing policies across these various organizations and of course, the army has an important role outside of the mortuary in the activities that go on on the field when fahland troops are collected on the battlefield, transported back home. it is a huge operation the army
runs. as the war progressed, i t was found necessary to form a centralized joint mortuary affairs board, which was responsible for coordinating all of these various activities. this ensures that the worker was done properly and there was some degree of policy oversight. i t was shared by an army byand the members were primarily -- and army colonel and the members were kept and in the navy and colonels and the army. -- captains in the navy and colonels in the army. next slide. we will try to get through this. this is the historic chain of command that prior to 2008 was in effect.
i do not need that. if you take a look at it and you see these comments on the side here, too many command channels. kind of a difficult chain of command disorder way through. the air force found it necessary to streamline the chain of command so they moved to -- next slide. this chain of command. this chain of command is the commander that goes on up. this goes up to the assistant personnel officer of the airport -- air force. when we look at this command, this command structure, we figured that there was very little command oversight possible from it. first of all, the afmao commander does not have a uniform, which are commanders need. he was not a centrally selected
cmdr. the ais was a civilian at the time. he had a command authority of his own. the three-star and above of the a1s has no command. you have a commander who has no command authority. no truth -- notre command authority reporting to a chain of command that is a staff change and is not responsible to commanders. this, our opinion, showed a lack of demand oversight. if any of you think that organizations within this building with better supervised field activities and other commanders in the field, i think he would be mistaken. i think you probably know that. it is important to understand that. next slide.
the other portion that you need to understand is that within the chain of command, there is a requirement for oversight inspection. that requirement was not fully exercised throughout the operations that were conducted at afmao. command oversight and inspection oversight were lacking. technical oversight was also lacking. in other words, outside of the very small group of -- who are excellent embalmers and morticians that operate from afmao, was no body of independent technical oversight that could show them the way ahead or could brief them on the most modern techniques. here you see one of the realignments that is currently underway between the armed forces medical examiner and
afmao. this is a diagram of the building that they work from. this really shows activity between afmao and armed forces medical examiner was intermingled with in this activity. within this building in this facility. in the civilian world, we would recognize the coroner as being very separate and distinct from the mortician. next slide. and every organization that is taking place -- in the reorganization that is taking place, they have separated those two and they have made a clear line in the san of responsibilities between organizations. in the many recommendations that we made, we made 20 of them, i will highlight the ones in command and control. the secretary of the air force needs to direct that the commander at afmao be given
uniform code of military justice authority, that he be centrally selected. and that he be trained well in advance of accepting this position. it is very clear to us that the air force -- next slide. go back to the first site, please. that the air force needs to establish a response a chain of command and we recommend that that be an air force two starr, either from an existing command or a new command, but i imagine the air force would probably figure it way through services commands to figure out how to get the oversight. our recommendation says that we have to strengthen the chain of command by giving the air force a clear line of command authority for afmao. that the armed forces medical
examiner also needs to be given command authority and that the service liaison officers need to become directly responsible to the commander at afmao. i know this is confusing. i know there is a lot of moving parts and boxes in there. i think if you read the report, and understand this line diagram, you will understand some of the changes that we recommended from a command perspective. we also recommended that the centralized join more dreary affairs board halved the general officers at the top -- that the centralized joint mortuary affairs board have the general officers at the top and that the senior on research -- senior our research chair that and have direct authority, which they did not have previously, to make policy recommendations flow through the chain of command, etc.. throughout all of this, you can
see that in order to make all of this work, you have to have an overarching department of defense. foursome for -- or some form of agency to look at all of this to make sure that all of the problems between organizations are fixed and properly accounted for. we think that, just like in the nuclear shirty business, we need to understand this is 100% no- fail nissen. -- mission. that means the same level of care needs to be taken with regard to the final resting place of our fallen that we do in safeguarding our nuclear missions. i think it is important to understand this is a no-fail mission. perfection is expected and there has to be very stringent oversight -- air fires' can do this. -- the air force can do this.
they have a great program for nuclear weapons security and accountability. those standards should also be implemented here. of course, the secretary of defense has a role in making sure that this system works as well. there are also training issues that we found that afmao. these training issues, although the people there are skilled in what they do, the training issues are more of routine training that needs to be conducted over time. we found some issues with regard to manning in terms of whether it was robust enough. we also found some other resources and issues throughout afmao that need to be addressed. the air force is doing so. finally, it is important to note that as you look through their report, there many other recommendations that we urge the
air force to make. for the panel, it is clear to us that correcting the lack of oversight for command, lack of oversight for technical capabilities, lack of oversight for policy, etc., all of these things need to be fixed and report provides a way for them to be fixed in a timely manner. the panel also recommended the establishment of a board of visitors come off technical s -- technical exports not unlike the board of -- the panel we assembled to report to the defense health board on technical oversight matters and assisting afmao getting their job done, in particular. i presume you have all read the report. i will quit talking and i will answer your questions. >> i know you. he was supposed to look at current operations and how to
move forward, but there seems to be startling revelations about things that happened in the past. >> startling? i would not say startling. when you do not have an effective chain of command, -- >> it seems to imply in places that the unidentified remains -- some of the 9/11 victims that had been recovered from the pentagon attack and from -- were incinerated and dumped in a landfill. i do not think we have heard that. can you clarify? were you surprised? >> i cannot clarify. i can clarify that the process for unidentified remains -- by the way, all of the remains of all of our fallen have been identified. but, you have to understand the
way the remains come into the mortuary from time to time -- unfortunately come away too often, there are many pieces that happened to be mixed as a result of the horrific explosions that take place from ied's. what happens is that the unidentified remains -- you can imagine there are a lot of them -- you can also imagine that there are subsequent remains. portions. these are not whole bodies. the idea that whole bodies are ending up in the landfill is not correct. what happened was, give me a second and i will come back to you. what happened was, and identified portions or portions that the families elected not to have dry up with the already buried major portions of the gulf -- fallen went to a
crematorium. they were cremated. from there, they work the next with -- we do not have the full information and i am sure he will have to talk to the airforce about what exactly happened, but they were either mixed in with some portion of medical waste. you are taking their remains in cremating them and then you are mixing them in with some medical waste. i cannot say what it is because we just figured it out. then it goes to an incineration. then the incineration gets down even further. then from the incineration, i t was turned over to medical waste contractors and that is where the notion of it ending up in the landfill comes about. as far as we're concerned, that is what happened. by the way, we do not think it
should have happened. we think that our fallen deserve what they're getting now, which is the remains are taken out to sea and they are buried at sea or there are other things you see about the veterans administration providing other options that we think the department can put into effect. >> yes, sir. i am asking about 9/11 victims because previously, the air force describe the procedure you just did, but they said they only have records of this happening going back to 2003. what your report says -- a lot of people in the public want to know what happened with this. it says that these and generations of unidentified portions of remains -- can you give me the page? >> page 6. >> under section two. background
and introduction. third paragraph, page 6, the policy began shortly after september 11, to the some one. several portions of remains from the pentagon attacks could not be tested or identified. these cremated portions were then placed in sealed containers that were provided to a biomedical waste disposal contractor and then transported to the incinerator. the residual material was disclosed in a landfill. is that referring specifically to september 11 victims and do you know how extensive this was? >> i do not know. it was only those dictums that went through the port mortuary. >> how many? >> i do not know. >> can you find out? >> i do not know that there is a way to find out. you need to understand the
reason that we put that comment in there is that there is a starting point for understanding how this happens. while i understand how sensational the notion is, there was a point where people consider going to the crematorium and in some states, it is the law that that is the final disposition of the fallen. and i ticos from what many have considered the final disposition -- it companies from what many have considered the final disposition, which we do not agree with. we believe that if in 9/11, you can trace back the origin for why what happened happened, -- we only have records that go back -- this is anecdotal evidence that was told to us by the people we interviewed. >> on the eve of your report,
25th of july 2002, a memo from acting director of army casualties and mortuary to the -- dispose of remains from the attacks on the pentagon to incineration. it sounds like there is a memo that talks about it. and he seems like it is not just an insult. -- anecdotal. >> you can see were the paperwork is and you can try to track it down. i am telling you, that was not the focus of this panel. the focus of the panel was to look forward to see what was wrong, to correct what was wrong or make a forward looking sort of recommendation about what needed to be fixed. we did not spend a great deal of time and effort and energy looking into what you are talking about. next question. >> i am sorry.
>> i am sorry. next question. it is my report but that is not the focus. next question. yes, sir. >> there seems to be in this timeline a series of incidents that make responsible officials aware of problems or least questionable activities at the mortuary. >> i will readily admit that there were a series of investigations that took place within the mortuary the work of man directed inspections -- network command directed inspections that we concluded that the results were not properly taken into account. in other words, corrective actions were not taken and with a dysfunctional isolated chain of command, it could not have.
that is the thing i would like to come back to. i appreciate the fact that you are looking deep, but we did not look deep. we spent 5% of our time looking back for information. that was our charge. our chart was to look forward. we think that the recommendations we have made, which is really what i would like to talk about, our recommendations that will fix the problem and restore the confidence. yes, ma'am. >> one thing i want to ask was about the lack of oversight. not to go too for into this, but you look at this time line and there are a number of events -- why has it taken so long for there to be a come to jesus moment and you think there are any factors keeping that chain of command from being tightened? >> we think the recommendations will strengthen that chain of the can -- chain of command. there were not proper memorandums of organizational
understanding between the various organizations. the chip command was not a chain of command. this was an isolated command that did not have proper oversight. whenever we put things into channels as opposed to command channels, you are asking for trouble. the trouble, identified through the whistleblower is coming public and the various investigations that were undertaken were clearly having. that is the lack of oversight. yes, sir. >> from my reading of the earlier report, a lot of bucks -- a lot of the problems of the missing portions were due to the theme that interaction between the medical examiners and afmao
-- why not a more radical chain of command recommendation from your subcommittee whereby you have a single commander at the mortuary who is in charge of both groups? >> yes. we did look at the possibility of a joint command. and-or a joint agency, but you have to understand that the armed forces medical examiner is not completely doing work on troops -- fallen troops. it is working with dna, toxicology, autopsies -- which is where it impacts with afmao -- but that is only 10%. at first glance, you say, we need to put a to a command in
here. when we look at it, we say no. we need to keep this medical line of command to the armed forces medical examiner. need to strengthen the air force services command line to the air force mortuary affairs office. we need to make the service liaison officers and elements come under the supervision of the department of the army for minimum standards of training, manning, a touring, etc.. they need to be made tactical commands under the command afmao. -- under the afmao commander. a strengthening of the chain of command comes from properly resources and what goes on in usd pnr. the current office is one person deep and unable to really handle these very serious and difficult operational issues that come up.
then you -- you have to strengthen an office and then you have to strengthen the army's executive agency oversight. if you have to up the level of direct authority within the centralized joined mortuary affairs board. radical surgery is liable to make it worse. so, i think that we have given a path ahead that is very important to fixing the lack of oversight from a technical manner as well as a command matter. yes, ma'am. >> can you tell us about the recommendation -- it seems there was an incident with a master sergeant who was cremated. he was not cremated in a casket -- basically in cardboard.
obviously, that incident is troubling. how did you go from that to know cremation? >> there is a new crematorium that was built there and that -- there have been times when families have best for their fallen family member to be cremated at that facility. we think that it is a bad idea for the department of defense to be in the cremation business, especially at such a quick point in the notification process to families. families make that decision once the body has been turned over to them for their disposition because sometimes, the mother may want the body cremated and the father may not. these are filled with all sorts of difficult sorts of issues for the family. we think it best to only use
that crematorium absolutely when necessary . >> this was put in right after the allegations that there were animal remains in it? it was new. >> it is new. >> there are a couple of things on page a-4. >> we will come back to. >> investigations on the two bodies were used -- to test the new crematorium at afmao. that seems odd. >> i do not know exactly how that transpired. i would say that there are probably agreements between mortuary services people that are out there -- i do not know about that. i do not know they were used to
test without the knowledge or permission of the families. i think they had full knowledge and permission of whoever was authorized to make this position of that particular set of remains. >> -- >> we do not think it is a good idea. >> man follow up? when the air force released in initial investigation, most of -- if you look through the records, the problem is the mortuary -- the problem with the mortuary goes way back. >> i do not know that you do not know about them. i can only say that we included this because we thought that the timeline was important for understanding what went on. a time when goes back pretty far. >> september 26, 2005 there was an investigation that found that human remains were mist shrouded in a fashion constituting dereliction of duty. do you know anything about that?
>> look, i will tell you once again what we did and what we did not do. ok. what we did not do was go back and look through the records to try to determine whether or not something had gone wrong there. we knew that something had gone wrong. our charge was to look at what's going on now, figure out how to move it forward, and society. there is no doubt you are correct. there were many things that were going wrong because of lack of demand and technical oversight. and policy oversight. and coordination. so, craig, you get the last question . >> i appreciate that. i do not understand -- you say you were looking forward but not backward. your appendix e -- these are all
incidents and allegations of fraud. the settlement to the spouse of a dream for mental anguish of $25 million. these have not been made public. >> i do not know they have not been made public. >> they have not. we would like to know more information because -- >> it is not -- >> your panel has records -- >> we have received them from the air force. >> are you refusing to release the records? >> the report has been released. >> i am asking for these memos -- >> i have no authority to release anything. you have to go to the air force to ask about those particular questions. i am telling you in conclusion that you need to focus on these recommendations about whether or not they will strengthen accountability act afmao and throughout the entire mortuary affairs system.
i think it will strengthen oversight. they will strengthen training. they will strengthen accountability and coordination between organizations. they will lay the groundwork that this will never happen again. we will adopt a policy of zero defects. rhetorically -- historically, you have to ask a question elsewhere. historically, there were significant problems there. yes, david . >> as a in a spirit military officer, were you shocked by the fact that this happened? the department already said this was a top priority to treat the fallen. how could it had happened -- how could it have happened? i am not shocked. i have been in the armed forces of the u.s. for a long time. i have seen just about anything that can be seen.
are these revelations completely explainable? i think so. of the vast number of cases that come through the port mortuary, people are doing the right thing 99% of the time. we are talking about the 1% of the time when things did not go right. because there was no proper command oversight, we did not really have the ability to get down and look at the organization and figure out how to fix it. i think that my panel provided a pass from secretary of defense to fix those things that are wrong. i think that my panel did a very good job in doing that. i appreciate the fact that you may regard some of these things as being relevant. i regarded them as issues that happen in an organization that did not have the proper mechanisms necessary to correct
them that is why we are making the recommendations. i enjoyed that. [laughter] i do not think you will see me again. i appreciate the fact this is an important issue. it is about confidence. confidence has been lost in the ability of this organizations to care for our fallen we must restore -- we must restore that confidence. these people are patriotic people who do not mean to do the wrong thing. they're constantly trying to do the right thing, but it takes more than them at the mortuary to fix it. it takes oversight from above that flows all the way through the chain of command and that is what is weekend that what has to be fixed. thank you. c-span3 c-span2 -- [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] following his primary victories in michigan and arizona, mitt romney is in dayton, ohio for a town hall event this afternoon. the state is home to one of the 10 fastest -- 10 contests on tuesday. c-span will have live coverage at about 3:00 p.m. eastern. [applause] first lady michelle obama and jill biden urged the governors to make it easier for military spouses who must relocate to get state licenses. so far, 12 states have implemented plans to help ease the process. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for coming. it was great to see you all here
last night. what a wonderful evening. the last time we were together, we talked about honoring in supporting military families. in this last year, we had made tremendous progress. since we launched joining forces in april, we have been so delighted by this response from americans all over this country. businesses have hired tens of thousands of veterans and military spouses. medical schools have committed to educating about poor systematics stress disorder in dramatic brain injuries. schools, community organizations, and americans of every age and background have sent care packages, donated child care, and creative community celebrations for the
millions of military families in their neighborhoods. these americans are stepping out because they appreciate how much our military families do for our country every day. what we have seen since launching joined forces has been truly gratifying because it has shown our military family that all of us appreciate their sacrifices on their behalf. there is more to do. we would like to talk to you about one of the top concerns we have for military spouses where we go, professional licenses. i know that many of you hear from those in your state as well. a few years ago, we went to the pentagon to unveil in a report from the department of defense and treasury about professional licensing for military spouses.
a report from the military sparked spouses moved 10 times more than their civilian counterparts and that 35% of spouses in the work force are in jobs and require a professional license military -- licenses. military requires people to move in the issue of licenses is a challenge for military spouses. as michelle will discuss, there are ways to work together to ease this burden. we look forward to doing just that. thank you for what you are doing in your home state and please join me in welcoming my dear friend and partner in joining forces, first lady, michelle obama. [applause] >> good morning.
welcome back. i hope everybody got a little bit of sleep. just a little bit. we had a terrific time last night. the mood was good and hopefully you all enjoy yourselves as well as -- as well. it is always wonderful to host you. i want to thank jil, not just for her introduction but for being a terrific partner and more importantly a friend over the past few years. on this issue, in particular, as a blue star mom, she knows these issues as well as anyone. she has been just a terrific champion on insuring that we are moving things forward. as jill has said, this new licensing possibility -- this new licensing ability is one of the most important issues that we have addressed through joining forces. it is the number one frustration that jill and i hear about every time we visit with military
spouses. that is really saying something because these women and men are facing plenty of very serious challenges in their lives. there are raising their children and running their households alone. while they have espies deployed. -- have a spouse deployed. they are cooking meals, leading the pta, answering questions from their children about when mom or dad will be coming home and many of them are doing all of this while trying to hold down full-time jobs be. the truth is, no matter what is on their plate, and this is what always impresses us, no matter what their country asks of them, these men and women never complained. they never complain. i know that many of our spouses understand that when they interact with military families. these people never ask for much.
they keep pushing forward. when they do bring something to our attention, when they do come to us and they ask for our health, when they do let us know that something is a real problem for them, then we know it is serious. we know it is time for us to take a look and figure out whether there is something we can do. when you hear about how some of these licensing stories -- what is going on, you understand why they are beginning to get frustrated. take the story of a nurse named kelly. she is an army wife and an expected mother. she has been married to her husband for four years. in those years, she has lived in three different states. this means that every year or so, she has had to gather up her transcripts, and notarize a
pile of documents and pay application costs and then wait for all of that to clear. she estimates that the constant movements have costar six months of paychecks. this is from a woman who wants to work. a woman serving our country. the whole process can be so cumbersome that she is not even sure she is going to go through it again for family's next assignment. she is ready to walk away from her career because the burdens are so great. of course, this does not just happen to nurses. it is having to teachers, child care providers, accountants, real-estate brokers, identified tannish, social workers -- dental hygienists, social workers, on and on. think of the careers require licensing and these men and women are being affected. a total of more than 100,000
military spouses are affected by this maze of requirements. 100,000. far too often, they are forced to take entry-level glasses or pay hundreds of dollars in fees or wait weeks or months for their paperwork to be processed. this is before they can even get a job. they cannot even work until all of this is done. the vast majority of the spouses are clearly qualified. this is not an issue of these men and women being qualified and ready to work. they have got the right skills. they have worked in their fields for years. many of them. so often, that does not matter. it does not count. their skills still go unused and more importantly, their families go without a crucial source of income that so many of them need. many of these families survived because they have heeded comes.
-- they have two incomes. many career ambitions are just the real again, -- are just the real. you can see why many of these are frustrated. many of these standards are extremely important. they insure that our professionals need a level of excellence that gives us all peace of mind. when we step into a hospital or we signed our kids up for school. i want to be clear that we are not asking any state to change a single professional standard. we are certainly not asking anyone to set a lower bar for our military spouses. they are the first ones who do not want exceptions to the rule for them. what we are asking is for a level playing field. we just want to make sure that the spouses have a fair shot to pursue their careers and support their families.
that is where all of you, man. each of you has a unique opportunity to make a difference for these families that have given all of us so much. some of you have already done this. some of you authorities stepped up, including a couple of governors. 12 governors have signed legislation to fix these licensing issues for military spouses. of course, we want to thank you all for leading the way here is what is important. each of those 12 states found its own solution. whatever works for them. some states are doing things like granting temporary licenses so that spouses can get to work right away. others have given state licensing boards or agencies increased flexibility to grant
licenses to military spouses to clearly demonstrate competence. others have found ways to grant licenses upon application and then verify the documentation as the spouse earns a paycheck. many more states are working on legislation as we speak. california, louisiana, allen ally and wyoming have introduced bills in the last two weeks. governor brown back just sound -- just signed a kansas bill on valentine's day. a lovely gift. roughly half of the country still has not taken this issue on. that is why the deal and i are here today. as part of joining forces, we have set what we hope is an ambitious, but achievable goal that by 2014, we would love to see all 50 states had passed
their own legislation to address this issue. by 2014. the goal is a key priority for this administration. secretary panetta is behind it. general and all the joint chiefs are behind it. the president and vice-president to -- and the vice president to not have a choice. [laughter] the support it. the people who have the biggest impact are in this room. truly. you all have the power in this instance. no one can make a difference on this issue like all of you. no one. i am not just talking about those of you with a governor behind your name. you are important, but we also have a wonderful first spouses. look at what jane beshear has done in kentucky. she has formed a team of military spouses who are tackling the issues like
education and employment in that state. she has worked with state higher education leaders to streamline admissions process is for military spouses. she has testified in front of the state house and she has done all of this in one year. in fact, she told me that after the last governor spouses, she was so moved that we went -- she went back to her state and figured out what she could do to push this issue ahead. every single person in this room has a role to play in supporting our military families. i am here, as well as jill to ask for your help. as simple as that. if your state has not addressed licensed portability for military spouses yet, today, i want to ask you to make this issue a priority. work with the leaders in your state to get a bill introduced.
use horrible pit to get it passed. share military spouses stories with your -- use a ball hit to get it passed. shell -- share military spouse s'stories with everyone. reach out to the governors who are just getting started. share your experience. encourage them all along the way. help us finish this job. we will be helping as much as we can. we have a plan in place to be supportive. like jill said, the report from the department of defense and treasury is full of wonderful tips and practices to help all of you find solutions that work for your stay. that is really the idea. there is no one-size-fits-all solution. this report is designed to offer it is to get things started. your staffs have received copies
of this report already and all of your spouse's will get one today. on top of that, the defense department's team of state liaisons' are here to help you crack legislation, if needed and usher it through your state houses. in fact, we have that someone here from the department of defense and he will be available after this session to answer questions to help get you started in the process. jill and i are going to keep a light on this issue and we will be working with groups like the american bar association and the national military families association to support your efforts at the grass-roots level. they all stand ready to try to find ways to be helpful on this issue. you are not alone. joining forces has been a wonderful instrument just to raise the bar and shine a light
on the issue. we continue to lose this platform to be proactive and supportive. that is the thing about supporting military families that jill and i have discovered through our work. it is something that everybody can get behind. it really is. everyone feels this. if they do not, they do not know the stories. once they hear them, they are right there. that is what we have seen since the day we first started joining forces. no matter who you are, or where you come from, we are also proud of our men and women in uniform and their families. we all are. we all want to do everything we can to honor and to support these men and women. and these wonderful children. they are sacrificing right alongside their appearance. in taking on this licensing
issue -- we are making the perfect opportunity. if we fix this, we do not just support for military spouses as they advance in their careers, which is important, but we are supporting their families who really depend on these incomes. we will be supporting the entire military, which can more easily retain mary troops if their spouses can pursue their careers. this is a retention issue. we will be infusing our schools and hospitals and businesss with -- businesses which must needed experienced workers who are ready to do the job. we will strengthen our economy by lowering our unemployment rate and increasing productivity by getting these hundreds of thousands of men and women into the workforce. you all can do all of this --
here is the punch line. little or no cost. this is one of those things that, you know, again, as other state governors will share, it does not have to kill the budget. it can be done in a bipartisan way, even more importantly. all it takes is a leader who can lead the charge for these families who serve our country so bravely. these men and women have risked so much for all of us. they do it for each and everyone of us. they ask so little in return. so very little. when they call on us, we have got to answer that call. in two years, what i hope we are able to say, we can look these people in the eye and say, we heard you. we acted. we heard you. the one thing in the best for,
we heard you. we stepped up as a nation. that is what joining forces is all about. we look forward to continuing these efforts to working with all of you in the months ahead to serve our military families, as well as they have served us. we will be there. we are going to nagging little bit. make a few calls. poke. you have not heard the west of us. [laughter] we are excited by what this will mean to so many of these men and women. that is the one thing we hear. many of them say thank you. thank you for recognizing that we exist and that these issues are important to us. we look forward to seeing this goal achieved by 2014 and we will be talking to your spouse assuredly at lunch. thank you. [applause] [laughter]
>> following primary victories in michigan and arizona, mitt romney is in ohio for a town hall event this afternoon. the stated some to one of the 10 contests on super tuesday and c- span will have live coverage from an aerospace and defense manufacturing company. that is expected to get under way at 3:00 eastern. tomorrow morning on "washington journal." newt gingrich joins us from the campaign trail to talk about the race and his strategy going forward. we get insight into the race from david mavksy -- makovsky.
he will read your -- he will premiere a conference being held in washington, d.c.. "washington journal" airs at 7:00 a.m. and s&p said the -- on c-span. we will have remarks from president obama and shimon peres at 10:30 a.m. eastern tomorrow on c-span. >> we are trying to get bloomberg -- obama changed the entire dynamic . >> look inside the new hbo movie that gave the inside story on what happened in the 2008 presidential campaign. >> i love those talking mons. the difference between a hockey
mom and a pit bull -- lipstick. >> sunday -- >> their expectation coming out was that she was an asset to the campaign. for the week or 10 days immediately after that, she was. on the democratic side, there was a lot of concern as the mccain-palin ticket came out. a head of barack obama. people on the democratic side were sort of freaking out. >> we talk about game change sunday on c-span. or any time at c-span.org. >> if you had said in 2006 that the world would be bidding for the u.s. to use force in the middle east, we would have said you were crazy. >> robert kagan is not only an adviser to the romney campaign, but also serves on clinton's foreign policy advisory board. >> what i have been writing is that there is a lot of
continuity in american foreign policy. i think what you are seeing here is the kind of consensus that exists in the foreign-policy community. >> more with him on foreign policy and his latest book sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> the president recently proposed a 10.5% increase in spending for the department -- they care for veterans returning from iraq and afghanistan. this helps reduce unemployment and homelessness. the secretary testified for the budget of 2013. this is one hour 10 minutes. this is one hour 10 minutes.